“A Dose of Healthcare Humor”

Posing with a great comedian!

This gal was not looking forward to CME day when we expected to learn about the finer points of bomb threats and were to have a couple of extra speeches here and there dictating the success of ambulatory health services in my fine city.  These first topics of interest ultimately surprised me – they were ultimately educational and informative. But the cherry to top what became a great CME day was the fine work of comedian David Glickman.

The “headliner” of our CME day at work, Glickman put the audience immediately at ease. He addressed us as though he had been with AHS for years, gently teasing our 500+ employee groups’ leaders and poking fun at the woes of being short-staffed, enumerating the joys of challenging patient interactions, and showing us how imparting humor on stressful situations can immediately provide relief to all. His 1-hour “comedy routine” kept us laughing in its entirety, and his talent emerged with ease and surprise. His prowess over a portable keyboard kept us giggling over fractured Disney Song lyrics, and he had this amazing finale in his show highlighted by a dance medley of pop music accompanied by his “rock and roll” melodica.  Must be seen to be truly understood.  He truly gave us a much-needed dose of humor during what is generally considered a tough time in the healthcare industry.  Budgets are down, staff is low, patient care demands are high, and resources are minimal in a health department setting.  Hearing him laugh and echo these concerns was perfect for the holiday season; we all left the CME presentation lighter of heart.

I would have loved for him to come to my hospital while we were there – I am glad I  attended residency there, but there were tremendous amounts of tension at the hospital at the time that I was a resident, and we could have used a comedian to commiserate, validate our concerns, and to help us use humor more to get through the day. God knows we used it anyway, but having someone like him come in . . .that would have made us feel truly understood.  Comedians are really amazing in their perceptiveness and their ability to identify the humor in everyday situations – and more than that, he really had the strong ability to draw upon his short conversations with people from the health department to create a very personalized show.   It reminds me of my pediatric program director’s perceptiveness when it came to grand rounds – he always had good insightful questions to ask, even when everyone else was silent. The part of David Glickman’s routine that brought my program director to mind was one of the closing elements of his performance, where he poked and prodded at the content of our AHS director Tom Storey’s speech that day – as he was sitting and watching the speech he wrote jokes about the speech – probably around 20 of them.  Now that’s thinking on your feet!