Reports from the radiology reading room at Mercy Hospital indicate that 47 year old radiologist Timothy Jacobs was so overcome with boredom that he began clinically correlating every MRI, CT, and X-ray all by himself.
“I just got soooooooo bored,” announced Jacobs as he spun around repeatedly in his plush leather office chair while trying to catch jelly beans in his mouth. “Everything is clinically correlate this, clinically correlate that. I thought, what the hell, I’ll give it a shot.” Jacobs began dictating reports that included his own clinical correlations.
“Child with non-displaced fracture of the right humerus. Playing on a jungle gym. Fell down, probably.”
“Chest radiograph shows right lower lobe consolidation. I don’t know, high fevers, cough for 3 days, I’m guessing he feels pretty crummy.”
“Lumbar spine film. Normal. Maybe he tweaked his back lifting a box onto a high shelf and needs dilaudid so he can sleep at night. Just spitballin’ over here.”
Unfortunately, after weeks of providing hospital staff with complimentary clinical correlation from the radiology department, Jacobs once again grew complacent with his daily duties. Witnesses state that his correlations became increasingly complex as time went on.
“Non-contrast head CT shows a large subdural hematoma. Could be a 90 year old lady, grandma type. She was a single mother of eight kids, now grown, and scattered across the country. She sits day in, day out, waiting for a phone call, the doorbell to ring, the mail to come, anything to keep her mind off the crushing loneliness of life in an empty nest. Her only solace comes from her weekly trips to the grocery store.”
“Although she lives alone, she still shops for eight kids, arriving home with a car full of groceries for hungry mouths that are no longer there. Every nook and cranny filled with boxes of cereal, cans of tomato soup, and loaves of expired bread. Three refrigerators occupy different rooms, packed with whole chickens and pork shoulders that will never see the inside of an oven. Cupboards overflow with onions and potatoes piled so high the doors no longer close. She went one potato too far. A neighbor found her crushed under a pile of Yukon Golds. She must have hit her head.”
Jacobs has now started adding a final line to each dictation.
“Clinical correlation provided. You’re welcome.”