MEDIA, PA – Tempers continue to flare in a small suburban town even after local researchers discovered that the origin of the now infamous rivalry between a podiatrist and a family medicine physician started with a patient referral for an exquisitely bad case of foot fungus. This rivalry, reminiscent of the Montagues and Capulets, the Sharks and the Jets, and perhaps even the Eagles and Cowboys, began when local man John Smith saw his primary care provider, Dr. Howard Hertz, for a routine physical.
The exam was going well before Dr. Hertz decided to check pedal pulses. Smith was the typical patient: suffering only from obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and having severe allergic reactions to all pain medications besides Dilaudid. But the physical exam took a turn for the worse when Dr. Hertz decided to do the microfilament test himself.
“It was the worst foot fungus I had ever seen,” recalls Dr. Hertz. “It seemed as if the foot fungus itself had acquired an immunodeficiency that predisposed it to other funguses.” Pennsylvania Department of Wildlife sources reported that the foot odor caused small hibernating mammals to leave the state parks and run for the the border. Smith tells a different story. “It wasn’t all that bad,” he reports to GomerBlog. “Certainly the nail beds had gotten out of hand, turning a few different shades of orange, but it certainly didn’t hurt much. It could have been controlled with just a few Vicodin.”
Immediately, Dr. Hertz referred the patient to Dr. Aiken N. Foote, one of three podiatrists in the area. Hertz recalls, “We simply didn’t have the tools to deal with a podiatric emergency here in the office.” After an appointment was made three days later, Dr. Foote was horrified by what he saw. “I had never seen such an advanced case of onychomycosis in all my years of practice, or even in my textbooks,” he recalls. “Perhaps I would have been likely to see a similar case if a patient was chained in a Vietnam swamp for three years, but otherwise, I was completely overwhelmed. Where could I even start? At the fungus’ head or ribcage? Why would Dr. Hertz refer this patient to me? There are two other podiatrists who certainly could have handled the job.”
Sadly, most of the carnage could have been avoided. Dr. Aiken N. Foote placed a telephone call to Dr. Hertz after the appointment, asking him why he had referred such a case to him. According to unconfirmed sources, Dr. Hertz replied, “I would do it again, since I am a fun-guy.” In retaliation, Dr Foote started telling all of his borderline and histrionic patients that they needed a “detailed physical exam from Dr. Hertz” and things obviously escalated from there.
As we sift amongst the rubble of Media, one asks, “Could this have been prevented? How could one case of foot fungus cost the lives of hundreds? How could all this misery and damage have started with such a… callus problem?”