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Humanities at the Bedside

Humor - Session B

Brian Regan - Emergency Department:



Science deconstructs humor: What makes some things funny?


Discussion. Emergency medicine exists in a particularly stressful  environment that is substantially different from other areas of the hospital. The nature of our specialty, predicated on the “open door policy” brings us into contact with a range of people, personalities and problems. What aspects of emergency medicine lends itself to a wider use of humorous expressions: writing, parody videos and blogs? Why do you think this is so? Do you believe it brings greater insighter or distance?

Exercise: Read https://la.utexas.edu/users/jmciver/357L/WileECoyoteVACME.htm which takes an oft controversial topic of medicine and applies it to a classic childhood cartoon. Describe a particular part of emergency medicine that is a source of frustration, anxiety or stress. Could you imagine a parody or satirical piece based off of this? Can you make it funny without ‘making fun.”


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