The 5 Best Surgical Phrases

1.  Deferred:  As in, “The cardiac exam was deferred.”  <– the cardiac exam is nearly always “deferred”. Someday, if we’re taking a strict definition here, some poor resident is gonna have to do all 6 million of them.

2.  WWD-WIC:  (Wound Was Dry When I Closed.).  As in:
“The sutures are GUSHING blood; what the hell did you do??”
“Hey, don’t blame me. WWD-WIC.”

3.  “That’s a purely academic distinction.” <– If an attending says this phrase in response to your question, there is a 90% chance you just got told.

4.  “Healing by secondary intention.”  Best used sarcastically, usually after the anesthesiologist asks why the procedure’s taking so long.  “Oh, we’re just standing around, waiting for the wound to heal by secondary intention.”

5.  “Status post”:
As in: “The medical student is a 26 year old female, s/p one week of surgery clerkship, electively done in order to obtain a medical degree.  She’s presenting with pedal pain, fatigue, and a sincere appreciation for people who love surgery obsessively enough to do it for a living.
She is not, however, one of those people.”

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5 thoughts on “The 5 Best Surgical Phrases

  1. If you don’t hear these by rotation’s end, ask for an additional six weeks:
    Heal with steel.
    Needs a Bard-Parker exam.
    Better pop the hood.
    A chance to cut is a chance to cure.
    Needs hot lights and cold steel.
    In the usual fashion.
    A/P: No acute surgical issues.
    All bleeding eventually stops.
    Audible bleeding.
    Nuisance bleeding.
    “Knife”
    That’s a blow-fer.

  2. I’m glad other people besides my former bosses use “All bleeding eventually stops.”
    When I repeat it to people they look at me like I’m a jerk =/

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