Surgeon Sends Lunch for Frozen Section

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – After visiting the hospital’s cafeteria, Dr. Jason Greene seated himself in the surgery staff lounge to enjoy his lunch.  But a few bites into his meal, something didn’t seem right.

“Hmm, tough to tell due to deep-fryer artifact”

“I ordered the fish sticks,” said Dr. Greene, “but after eating a few, I thought they tasted more like chicken.”  It was an unexpected finding, so he decided to send a sample to pathology for immediate confirmation with a frozen section.

When the specimen arrived in the lab, it was initially met with confusion.  “There was no request form, no patient information, and the clinical history was blank,” said pathologist Dr. Helen Collins.  “In fact, the only paperwork we got was a napkin with the word ‘FISH?’ scrawled on it along with a tartar sauce stain.”

Once the request was clarified, a portion of the tissue was frozen, cut, stained, and examined under the microscope.  “I saw a mixture of skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, and occasional fragments of cartilage,” said Dr. Collins.  “The nuclear detail was distorted, possibly due to deep-fryer artifact, limiting my interpretation.  The literature in this field is lacking, so in the end I had to hedge my diagnosis a bit.  But given the overall impression of architectural disarray and the surrounding vegetable matter suggestive of breading, I called it back as ‘consistent with processed meat, favor nugget variant.'”

Dr. Greene, who had already finished his lunch and moved to the PACU, was disappointed with the ambiguous result.  “Just another non-committal diagnosis from pathology.  What does it take to get a straight answer from them?  I mean, I haven’t read about this stuff in a while, but chickens have beaks and feathers, and fish have gills and scales, right?  Which is it?  It’s not rocket science.”

When asked if the delayed diagnosis would impact his immediate decision-making, Dr. Greene admits that it would not.  “I mean, it’s just nice to give reassurance to family members.  Pathologists don’t understand that.  But now, if my wife asks what I had for lunch today, I won’t know what to tell her.  She’ll just have to wait until the final report comes back in a few days.”

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  • Avatar
    Akmal Syafiq

    omg hahah

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    He would get an even more vague response from Radiology than Path
    ” Could be, might be, nugget but cannot rule out artifact, limited study due to patient motion, recommend clinical correlation, use IV contrast next scan, cannot rule out malignant process without further imaging”
    Hubert ” Waffle” Hedge Weasel the Third

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    Jesse Lee Kresak

    So the pathologist is still working, even during the lunch hour.

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    Rajiv Menon

    I’m surprised he didn’t stop the anaesthetist from eating lunch until the lab called back.

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    David Driver

    Is this one contributor to the high cost of a hospital stay?

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    Diana Molavi

    Poorly differentiated meat. Defer to permanent section.

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    Rissa Stackhouse

    Ya… but I don’t wanna know……

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    Frank Ay

    Truth is stranger than fiction!

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    Toni Holloman Tubb

    Yay for my alma mater! When we are home and in radio range, I love to listen to DeShazo’s radio show on Mississippi’s public radio station: Southern Remdies. However, focuses on modern healthcare not old “remedies”. He has a way with words…

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    Tiffany Breckenridge Rickbeil

    Vera Ashley Paulson

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    H.B. White

    Jesse Lee Kresak

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    Bora Gurel

    ‘consistent with processed meat, favor nugget variant.’

    Nice phrase, I’m going to use this in my next frozen report. :P

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    More tissue required

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    Melissa Stalling

    Chris Stalling lololol it’s just like the story I told you the other night :P

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    Dana Kotler

    Diagnostic injection.

  • Avatar
    Kris Adams

    Chicken nugget autopsies are the best autopsies.

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    Melinda Cooper Karlowsky

    Obviously they would call back because they need more tissue to make a determination.

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    Danny Farkas

    How about getting a CT? (“Possible diagnoses include chicken nugget or fish stick. Clinical correlation recommended. Consider MRI with and without contrast for better clarification.”)

  • Avatar
    Ron Forrest Ron


  • Avatar
    Chris Stalling

    Melissa Stalling lol

  • Avatar
    Geoff Wilson

    Follow up with pathologist cannot rule out meat product contained. Suggest clinical correlation.

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