Asking local doctors, what’s in a name?

As someone whose last name is “Whiteman,” I’m hardly in a position to be making fun of other people’s surnames. I’ve wanted to believe all my life that my forbearers were simply very pale, rather than racial supremacists, and have upheld the family pronunciation of “white-munn” to that end.

However, while reading the Sunday paper yesterday, I was inspired to abandon caution and undertake a wholesale taunt of the medical community in my area. Rock Hill Pediatric Associates had taken out a quarter-page ad to welcome their newest doctor to the practice. A graduate of Wake Forest University, Dr. Elizabeth Super will reportedly make a “proud addition to our staff of compassionate physicians offering convenient, coordinated and comprehensive care” when she’s not otherwise busy saving the earth from oncoming meteors or maintaining an apartment building.

So is Dr. Super a super doctor? She claims in the ad that her “primary goal is a healthier you,” though I’d be concerned that secondary pursuits like foiling super-villains or snaking out a clogged drains could be distracting. Especially if she’s assisting with intestinal surgery and hands over a Shop-Vac when the lead surgeon only needed light suction.

At the particular practice where my family and I are patients, there are a number of oddly named doctors. I recently was treated by Dr. Brandon Sick for back pain. He must be so weary of hearing patients ask if he realizes how ironic it is that a doctor has the last name of “sick” that he’s tempted to harm rather than heal. I’ll try to avoid patronizing him in the future, not because he isn’t a fine practitioner, but because I don’t want to call the answering service one night to report that “I’m sick” and have them send me out on a house call.

There’s another highly skilled professional on staff at this office by the name of Dr. Jerry Sample. He’s been there for the entire span of 30 years I’ve been a patient, so it hadn’t occurred to me until recently that his last name has a couple of other meanings. When the lab nurse gives you a cup and ushers you into a bathroom so you can “give us a sample,” maybe she’s asking you to duplicate a maneuver patented by the good doctor. Assuming that maneuver involves a urine test may be assuming too much. Perhaps he’s known around the office for hijinks that include wrapping an entire roll of toilet paper around his head, then swashbuckling down the hall pretending a plunger is his sword. Sorry, but I’m not doing that.

My wife saw Dr. Sample once and he wanted to prescribe her some new medication. So that she wouldn’t have to pay a steep price at the drug store for uncertain results, he provided her with a few “doctors samples.” She was so confused that she nearly had to be treated for head explosion.

I wonder if there’s something about my area of South Carolina that draws the peculiar-named. I know there are special incentives set up to get doctors to practice in rural or other under-served areas. Maybe there’s a med school student loan program that matches young interns with bizarre monikers to areas of the country that need a good chuckle. How else could you explain? …

Dr. Stephen Bott, gastroenterologist and mechanical man.

Dr. Brian Erb, kidney specialist who prescribes fennel and allspice as a cure to kidney stones.

Dr. Susan Hungness, allergist, immunologist, and one of the more sexually well-endowed women you’ll ever encounter.

Dr. John Hoitink, a doctor of internal medicine and a huge fan of Jerry Lewis.

Dr. Eugene Lepine, the veteran dermatologist who has treated me for a number of skin ailments, but always is careful to issue his advice in rhyme. (My favorites are “it’s wise to incise” and “an irregular mole will take a toll”).

Dr. Myo Nwe, an internal medicine physician whose family name came from the directional indicator on a map.

Drs. Obi Uzomba and Ramesh Bhoothapuri, both obviously foreigners and therefore intrinsically hilarious.

Dr. D. William Moose, an orthopedist who also appears as a favorite mascot from the woods on a local children’s television show.

The husband-and-wife team of Drs. Jane and Patrick Box, rheumatologists whose suggested cure for everything from diseases of the connective tissues to musculoskeletal disorders involve encasing the afflicted area in cardboard.

Dr. Robert Goodbar, a pediatrician you don’t want to be looking for unless you’re under age 16.

Dr. Susan Start, who will be ready to begin shortly, and

Dr. Deanna Threatt, who insists on patients paying for services upfront, or else you don’t want to know what procedure she’s going to suggest.


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One Response to “Asking local doctors, what’s in a name?”

  1. fakename2 Says:

    I notice that Dr. Super is “board eligible”. She’s probably too freshly through with training to have had time to take the Boards, but I would have left that little piece of data out. I’m eligible to be an astronaut, but…
    This did make me think about one my doctors in a new light, however. Dr. Wickstrum…perhaps he plays guitar with a candle?

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