Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Neologism: a made-up or created non-word; words that have meaning only to those who use them; can be a symptom of schizophrenia.
What's with all the new words being made up hither and yon? The latest is contained in a communication from the hospital at which I have to maintain privileges in order to participate with insurance companies where I am on staff.

The topic is hospital acquired infections; specifically, preventing them. Back in the olden days, when I actually went to the hospital on a regular basis and was required to serve on a committee, the committee to which I happened to have been assigned was the Infection Control Committee.

Infection Control is a noble pursuit. I have tremendous respect for the Infection Control Nurse (later, "Officer") who ran the meetings and basically kept the hospital Infection Control program running full steam ahead (with fabulous results; our rates of hospital acquired infections, as I recall, were always the anti-Wobegon: well below average.) But now, the title "Infection Control Officer" is no longer good enough. What do you think has replaced it? I'm so glad you asked:


Ouch. That was my language cortex wincing.

Cut me a break. This must be what administrators do to keep themselves occupied earn their outrageous salaries. They come up with brand new titles for people who are busy doing things that are actually useful for patient care. I don't know if this comes under the heading of "morale-building," which usually means coming up with creative ways to make people think you value them without paying them more money (hint: it doesn't work) or what.

What's next?
  • Emptying Bedpanist
  • Injectionist
  • Sterilizationist
  • Documentarian (Actually, I kind of like that one.)
Aw hell; why not just call everyone a Vice President? It works on Wall street:
Vice President of Infection Control
Now that has a nice ring to it.


At Wed Jan 21, 08:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems everyone has a new name except for pharmacists....although occasionally I'll have an LOL call me "druggist". How 'bout a new name for us??

At Wed Jan 21, 09:00:00 PM, Blogger Ambulance Driver said...

No doubt this person will use his/her new title to crack down on all those infectionists and pathogenitators working at the hospital, lest the hospital become a regular infectionarium.

At Wed Jan 21, 09:42:00 PM, Blogger #1 Dinosaur said...

RxM: How about co-opting a term reviled by all physicians, and call yourself a "Therapeutic Substance Provider."

At Thu Jan 22, 07:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now, don't misunderestimate the role played by the former presidentatorizer in creating all these so-called neologismications.

At Thu Jan 22, 08:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been stuggling to re-define my job title. While the words are not new, the titles are. Which sounds better "Supreme Peon" or "Executive Serf"?

At Thu Jan 22, 08:40:00 AM, Blogger jen said...

I don't care for the word "preventionist" but I bet the logic was that (to an outsider) "infection control" means controlling existing infections, while "preventionist" sounds more pro-active . . . . Of course, the flip side is that once there *is* an infection, what's left for a "preventionist" to do?

At Fri Jan 23, 06:13:00 AM, Blogger LicensedToILL said...

"Diagnosis perveyor"

"Clinicianist biller"

"Medicational applier"

At Fri Jan 23, 09:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um.. I think "Injectionist" is kinda snazzy and has pizazz. :)

At Fri Jan 23, 10:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

omg... Called our inf. control RN today to make an appt to get my TDAP (cuz I routinely get coughed on by possibly positive pertussis pts---- wow lots of P's there)... and on her voicemail she calls herself the inf. preventionist of Middle-of-Flyover-Land Hospital! argh....

Think I'll put "TSP" after my name...

At Thu Jan 29, 10:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What of us? The oppressed Medical Student pop? Any neologismications to delight in our plight?



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