Sunday, May 10, 2015

What Is Wrong With This Picture?

Let's play a game of "What is wrong with this picture?" You know that game that is usually found in children's magazines where it asks the reader to identify all the things that could not possibly be correct in a drawing or photograph? The subject of our game is the cover of the latest issue of the ASA Newsletter, shown below.

First we have to make a couple of assumptions about this image. Since this is in the ASA Newsletter, we are going to assume that the person examining the patient is in fact a physician and an anesthesiologist. Who else could it be? A CRNA? A second assumption is that the patient is in an operating room or ICU environment, based on all the different pumps that can be seen in the background. Plus that's where you will find anesthesiologists working most of the time. So look at the picture really carefully and I'll give you the answers below.

1. Anesthesiologists don't wear a shirt and tie to examine patients. About 99% of the time we wear operating room scrubs because it is impossible to change in and out of street clothes between each case.

2. The doctor is touching the patient and her bed with his bare hands. Instant Joint Commission violation.

3. Anesthesiologists rarely use stethoscopes.

4. Maybe because of #3, this anesthesiologist obviously doesn't know how to use his stethoscope since he is listening to the patient over her hospital gown.

5. His hair is too perfectly coiffed to be a hard working anesthesiologist. Most anesthesiologists' hair are flattened from being tucked inside a surgical cap. Plus there is no telltale ring around the forehead where the cap rubs up against the scalp.

6. The patient looks much too healthy to be a typical hospital patient. Check out her alert, come hither eyes and pinkish flush of her cheeks. Not the usual ICU or OR gomer.

7. The monitor is not even on. How can the patient be in the ICU or OR with the monitors off?

8. There isn't a spaghetti tangle of wires draped all over the patient's torso from a properly monitored patient.

Did you get all that? Let me know if you spot any other inconsistencies with this badly staged picture of an anesthesiologist and his patient. One thing the cover does get accurately though--pretty young girls are always giving anesthesiologists that cute lovey-dovey stare while we examine them. NOT.


  1. 1. She's too pretty for a typical patient, and he's too handsome for a typical doctor. Obviously actors. ;-)

    2. As best as I can tell, it "looks" like he's attempting to auscultate her pulmonic area? If so, I think he's not really close to this area. It looks more like he's on the 1st intercostal space rather than the 2nd intercostal space, and also away from the left sternal edge!

    3. Anyway, she looks too healthy to have a heart murmur.

    1. Yes she's too pretty. But as far as him being too handsome to be a doctor, speak for yourself.

    2. Sorry for the late post, but the most flagrant telltale sign was missed--that is, how much did that stethoscope cost? Most stock photography seems to use the $15 double-tube type. This one appears to be using the contact-precautions-disposable type.