ATLANTA, GA – “I have never seen so many people vomit their brains out at once,” said disappointed chief resident Frank Napoli as he focused his hollow stare into the middle of his desk, still making sense over yesterday’s noontime incident. He fiddles with his pen every now and again. “It was horrible, absolutely horrible.”
Napoli, current internal medicine chief resident at Georgia Medical Center (GMC) and future infectious diseases (ID) fellow, was excited to teach his residents and medical students about Ascaris lumbricoides, one of the world’s most common helminthic human infections. The roundworm is notorious for numerous symptoms and complications, including intestinal manifestations. Napoli had a lot to teach and couldn’t wait to do it.
“I really was pumped up, but I should’ve known a lecture on roundworms was a bad idea for a lunchtime conference,” Napoli echoed with regret. In the background, a third-year medical student is heard vomiting (“BLLERRRGHHHHHH!!!!!) and whimpering (“WHY-OH-WHY???!!!) even though the PowerPoint on roundworms was yesterday. Napoli sighs. “Roundworms on a giant screen? This went worse than the lunch lectures on eye trauma and diabetic foot ulcers.”
Interns, residents, and medical students are motivated by one thing and one thing only during noontime conference: free lunch. The opportunity to sit down, be nourished; it’s one of the handful of highlights that comes during the several years of soul searching known as medical school and residency. They nod their heads and pay attention to whatever is the topic of choice, though they could honestly care less: they’re fed now.
“I’ve been in this huge noodle phase,” explained Napoli as he showed our GomerBlog team around the main auditorium, whose floors were now covered with the stench of stale vomit and old, semi-digested noodles. “I can’t believe I didn’t connect the dots between the two. Maybe I could’ve brought in spaghetti with sauce?” He pauses. “Come to think of it, that would just look like worms in bright red blood per rectum.”
Initially, everyone was excited as they piled mounds of noodles onto paper plates and took their seats around the auditorium. It was a nice change of pace from pizza, subs, and wraps. But Napoli began to hear the moans and groans with the very first slide: Everything You Wanted to Know About Intestinal Roundworms.
“I could sense the fear and anticipation as I went through the first few slides,” Napoli described. “It was like watching people watching a scary movie. Everyone started to sink into their seats, grabbing and holding one another for dear life. Many covered their eyes, but peaked through their fingers. A few people puked when I put up the first picture of Ascaris. I thought about stopping the lecture, but figured I should go on.”
The real damage was done when Napoli showed a looped video of 50 worms migrating out of a patient’s anus.
“Oh goodness, it was traumatic,” admitted Napoli. “When I showed the video, everyone in the auditorium looked at their plates and began vomiting fiercely. Oh, the smells, the incessant screaming… the sounds of everyone vomiting noodles while worms poured out of that poor man’s behind… there are no words to capture that…”
“It was by far the worst moment of my medical career,” shared former intern Mary Winters, who is now looking for new employment in pretty much anything that doesn’t involve worms pouring out of a person’s rectum with reckless abandon. She has given up pasta. “The only way it could been worse is if they served the roundworms themselves for lunch.”
In other news, GMC administration is taking Winters’ sarcastic comments seriously and are looking to replace the cafeteria’s current pasta selection with intestinal roundworms as a cost-cutting measure to further destroy healthcare morale.