Hamilton, Ontario, Canada – McMaster University has been at the forefront of Canadian Medical research progress (pronounced pro-gress north of the border) since shortly after its founding in 1887. Now, the Marauders are transitioning into leaders in medical social progress.
Boxing day, December 26th, has long been synonymous with a day to return unwanted Christmas gifts.
McMaster University Med School Dean, Dr. Paul O’Byrne, announced the decision to blend the secular shopping holiday with medicine in a way to lighten the post-Christmas load of inpatient services.
Starting today and every December 26th until the ER whines too much, each inpatient service will be able to return 1 unwanted admission from the holiday period to the Emergency Room. “Ideally, these would be social admits or patients that probably didn’t really need to be admitted anyway other than to clear the ER board before turnover. However, we’re not enforcing any strict standards other than the 1 return per service policy” Dr. O’Byrne explained.
Orthopaedics was the first to jump on board the new policy returning a diabetic with very mild cellulitis to the ER at 5am this morning. Dr. Colin McCarthy, ortho resident and biceps aficionado, brought the patient back to ER Bed 4 himself, “I have no idea what the accepting staff was thinking, this guy doesn’t even need an IM admission. He just wanted the ‘med that starts with D‘ and no matter how much Dulcolax we gave him, he kept complaining…complaining and pooping. I’m glad to have him off of our service!”
ER Department head Dr. Toomani Hashtagues was not impressed, “Once they leave my ER, they should be out of my hair. Some of those admissions were really creative sells! Convincing a Neurosurgeon that a patient with clean underwear has cauda equina takes skills and conviction!”
As of 10am today, a total of 4 unwanted holiday admissions had been returned. General surgery returned a “classic appy” with 3 weeks of LUQ pain and IM returned a patient with hematuria that resolved when he stopped taking eating 25 beets a day. Fortunately, the peds service was very happy with all of their kiddos and wanted to keep them forever and ever and ever.