Sunday, March 22, 2009

Stereotypes

There are many stereotypes in medicine. We see so many people each day you start to recognize patterns. None is more true than for Hispanics (warning....don't get too offended b/c I myself am one).

Hispanic men and women tend to be very dramatic. Sometimes it's hard finding their disease through all the drama. When they come in to the hospital....all 18 children and brothers and sisters are in the waiting room on their cell phones updating the rest of the family. You have to let the Hispanic patient tell you their symptoms. If you ask do you feel ____, they will ALWAYS say yes. It is very common for a Hispanic person to have a complaint for every part of their body on one single visit. I have NEVER had a Hispanic patient without "chills" and "numbness and tingling" in their fingers and toes....no matter what the underlying complaint was. In addition to standard treatment, I generally throw in a medicine like valium no matter what the complaint. Sometimes I use it alone. For the Hispanic patient, it has done wonders in treating headaches, toe pain, heart attacks, etc. For some reason Hispanic people always poor rubbing alcohol on their loved ones before taking them to the hospital in an attempt to treat them....I haven't figured this one out yet.

So....in medical conversation we have come up with many different phrases and euphemisms to describe our beloved Hispanic patients. Below are our favorites from emergency and psychiatric medicine

1) TMD- Stands for "total me duele." Used to describe the Hispanic patient who has more than 3 organ system or body parts that hurt. A good sign that nothing serious is going on

2) Aye Attack- The room will be dead silent....until the doctor walks by. Then many different pitches and streaks of "AYE, AYE DOCTOR ME DUELE" can be heard across the department. If this is repeated more than 2 times, it is known as an Aye attack. Another good sign nothing serious is going on.

3) A bipolar hispanic person = A Manic Hispanic

4) A Hispanic who is OCD over cleaning = A Spic and Spanic

5) Hispanic Panic- This simply is a descriptor of normal Hispanic anxiety

6) AMA- in the Hispanic population this is not the normal AMA (against medical advice). It stands for Acute Mexican Attack. This is a couple notches higher than regular Hispanic panic

7) SMA- no...not the superior mesenteric artery. If the patient has the normal AMA, but is also clinically psychotic....this is known as a Severe Mexican Attack.

8) Wetback Setback- If the Hispanic patient needs to be hospitalized

9) Status Hispanicus- status epilepticus is basically a grand mal seizure not responding to meds. Status Hispanicus is similar, except there is no seizure is involved. Basically the Hispanic patient is freaking out enough, screaming, crying, with wailing of the arms and legs for no organic reason. Since he/she does not respond to verbal redirection, he patient is usually placed into a resuscitation room and given LOTS of valium until tranquelized to the normal Hispanic panic (see #5)

10) Hispanic person who hasn't showered in 2 weeks and who sees the Virgin Mary in things like peanut butter and dirty skillets = NORMAL

-ER Doc/Psych Doc

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

So what do you call an offensive, racist doctor who is supposed to be saving lives?

These stereotypes of yours are disgusting and I find it shocking that you thought they would be funny or appropriate to publish. Let's hope your employers find out so they can either send you to some kind of sensitivity training or fire you. People, especially those are in pain, shouldn't have to deal with this shit.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget "Chicken breath"
The Hispanic patient who is having difficulty breathing is generally accompanied by multiple family members all saying loudly, "Chicken breath, chicken breath." You can only decipher this after a lot of practice, or having them speak very slowly, and you will hear "Sheee cann breath"

Trust us....we're doctors said...

Actually, my "employers" say the same thing. Its pretty common to have phrases for all races and stereotypes I, myself, am hispanic. Lifes to short to not be able to make fun of things like this. Lighten up.

Alicia said...

LOL! YES! I've had every one of those as a patient!!! Love it!

Anonymous said...

LOL, ive seen all of those on the ambulance

mojitogirl said...

yu no funny, men!

Actually, I would expect as much from both an ER and psych resident. I'm a Hispanic ER Rn who was married once upon a time (when I was young and naive) to a psychiatrist. I can tell you that living with HIM supersedes any and all ER stories both strange and true. You're all nuts.....totally.

I DO agree, however, that you both need a little sensitivity training. Maybe a lot. Rag on the substance abusers, chronic pain patients, the mentally ill....but you tread on thin ice when you overtly make fun of ANY minority. If you don't like Hispanics, go do your residency in Alaska. You'll probably find another group there you won't like either. That's a personality flaw on your part that can't be fixed.

Prejudice-it's an ugly thing.

Haliczes said...

Wait, Mojito, you're cool with mocking the mentally ill, but not Hispanics? A little cultural humor is more offensive than mocking someone for his pathology?

Wow.

You need to either lighten up and enjoy the Mexican jokes, or be nicer to crazy people. I'd go with lighten up myself, but that's just me.

Nurse K said...

Come on, this is funny, Mojito. Maybe you need to upgrade to Long Islands if you're still offended after a mojito.

If you go to the ER every day and don't having a humorous sociology book being written in your head constantly, you're not enjoying your job as much as you could be.

My last #9 patient ended up ruling in for an MI, btw. Lucky I ignored the status hispanicus for the most part and actually treated the only body system that hurt (chest) with the ASA and NTG. Status hispanicus + chest pain + no other body system being affected (except 'tingling and numbness') is ACS until proven otherwise. Status hispanicus + chest pain is a hard combo though.

Ida said...

I find it funny. I live 13 miles from the border and 98% of my patients are hispanic. I have gone through all that you have listed. Although where I come from I also get the POE's. Port of entry folk who come to the border in an ambulance only to be transported to our hospital.

Jackielou said...

Differences in cultural attitudes and behaviors are an endless source of humor and fascination! Out in the real world, on the grungy front lines, I have experienced many of these! Please do a stereotypes for SE Asians. I've got all the material you need --in my mom!!

Anonymous said...

Of course, the first rule of ethnic humor is "only the ethnic person can do ethnic jokes."
The second rule of ethnic humor is "Don't do an accent, you can't do it well and you'll just look like a jerk.

Anonymous said...

Ha! In our ER during my training it was hyspanicus hystericus or H&H.
everyone needs to lighten up- you can't survive training without some humor.

Medic(three) said...

This would be funny if half of the posts on this blog weren't racially motivated. I don't get it. It is apparently amateur hour over here at Tales from a racist doc's blog.

Dr. Mongo Lloyd said...

Does your ER offer hot sauce IV?

MLee said...

I found it pretty funny myself, without dark humor, many of us in the ED would be insane or drunks

Anonymous said...

First off let me say how much I enjoy your Blog!!!!!!!!!!

To all of you that are offended by JOKES lighten the hell up they are jokes. I'm sure none of you PC bunch ever tell a joke about whites right!
They are only jokes no malice is intended here if you had half a brain you could see that but the liberal brainwashing you suffer from will not let you. Keep up the good work Doctors.
John-in-Florida

Anonymous said...

I would hate having such an ingnorant and prejudiced person as a doctor. It is not your job to judge but to help WHO EVER comes into the hospital. Honestly, get a new career.
And not as a comedian because this crap cannot even be considered humorous.

Anonymous said...

Umm Hispanics aren't a minority anymore. ;)

MSII said...

Being Hispanic does not exempt you from being racist, prejudiced, or offensive, it just makes us wonder why you are still so ignorant.

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Eric Friedland said...

I love my hispanic patients. The most patient and greatful and usually polite.

But, the males do drink a lot and sometimes stab each other

Anonymous said...

All that you have said is right on the money. We pre-hospital people, (medics and EMTS) experience all of the above but in their own home setting, usually in front of a large audience, so its even more over the top. Ever perform an exorcism?

Of course its stereotyping, but to every stereotype, there is truth. And latinos tend to be more dramatic. Italians too.

Mingle said...

sometimes i love reading these for the incendiary comments made....people get all worked up reading a blog they can easily ignore that it's practically masochistic.

Laura said...

That is funny shit. Hadn't heard of a few of those.

Of course the typical butthurt crowd has to chime in as usual. Thanks for posting in spite of them!

Seryoga said...

So much butthurt. I ROFL'd my way through the list. Honestly, I love the kind of humor medics and ER folk develop, and as a guy who's a security contractor, I gotta say we develop a pretty similar one. I've met plenty of hispanics. Some are crazy chill. Others are like Tannerite. I think you just see the craziest ones in the ER. Now imagine pulling security in Mexico. Want to know the population of any 50sqmi area? Fire off a warning shot at some guys who stalk around the security cordon. One will promptly drop to the ground and pretend to be hurt, screaming as loud as some gunfire, making everybody, ALL related to him somehow, and all unhappy. There are moments when one really feels the belt-fed calling to them...

Love the blog and this post.