Monday, August 18, 2014


This is what happens when non-medically trained personnel develop electronic medical records. While scrolling through an infernal list of diagnoses that would properly describe my patient's condition, I came across this terminology that I am not aware of. Hypopotassemia. Hmm.

Obviously somebody was trying to put into word the condition of a low potassium level of the body. But as any first year medical student, or maybe even a premed, can tell you, the proper term for low potassium is hypoKALEMIA. Comes from the latin word for potassium, kalium. That's why on the periodic table the atomic symbol for potassium is K.

This is just a microcosm of the FUBAR that happens when nonphysicians insist on knowing better than doctors how to run our business.


  1. Hypohemoglobinemia? Hyposodiumemia? Hypoplateletemia?

    Stop the insanity.

  2. Watching the Simpsons marathon on TV last night, one of the episodes mentions "hypohemia." Hilarious. Wikipedia it.