Seven Blunders

New battery-free pager powered by residents’ sweat and tears.

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In a seemingly limitless display of fiscal ingenuity, hospital administrators have invented a battery-free pager. Administrators have long lamented the hundreds of dollars wasted annually on batteries that needed to be replaced monthly, but they lacked solutions—until now. In a stroke of genius, hospital CFO Ostentasia Luxa discovered a previously untapped source of renewable energy: resident anguish.

Ostentasia described how she came upon this brilliant idea: “A few months ago, as I was leaving my corner office to make my weekly 4pm spa appointment, I decided to cut through the hospital ward as a short cut. On my way, I noticed a distraught resident run into the staff bathroom and slam the door shut. Naturally, I wanted to know what was happening in my hospital, so I placed my ear against the door and overheard the resident crying on the phone to his mother. He complained about how sick his patients were and how much paperwork he had left to do, which will prevent him from attending his anniversary dinner tonight with his husband. Naturally, I was shocked, I had no idea how intense a resident’s pain is. And that’s when it hit me, batteries only last a month, but a resident’s anguish lasts for years!”

Ostentasia spent weeks developing a prototype. While the details of the design are confidential, it appears that the pagers connect to sensors located on the chest, armpits, and temples of the residents and transfer the anxiety, fear, sweat, and tears into electrical energy.

Much to the delight of administrators, residents’ anguish was higher than expected, and the devices are providing more energy than required to power the pager. Ostentasia is already working with engineers to harness the surplus energy to power the lights in the hospital. She anticipates that loosening duty hour restrictions and eliminating resident access to graham crackers will drive energy production even higher.

  • Dr. Zoe Loft

    While in residency, Dr. Zoe Loft learned that laughter may not be the best medicine, but it sure makes a good defense mechanism. She will carry this wisdom forward in her career as an academic psychiatrist. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, improv, and scouring the internet for useful information.

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