Top 10 Celebrities Who'd Make Great (or Interesting) Medics
Who do you think would make a better partner: Chuck Norris or Darth Vader? How about Wile E. Coyote? Here's my ideal list of celebrity partners.
By Kelly Grayson
It was a late December night a few years ago, and my partner and I were bored. Perhaps boredom and cabin fever got the best of us, and since it was the holiday season, we got it in our heads to go caroling. So we hit iTunes, downloaded "The Chipmunks Christmas Album" and a few other songs, burned them to a CD, and set forth…in the ambulance.
As my partner drove around the neighborhood, I cranked the stereo up, and held the PA mike to the speaker. Most of the real carolers we encountered seemed to find it amusing, but for some reason a few homeowners weren't in as festive a mood as we were, and lodged complaints.
Later, as I was unsuccessfully feigning shame and remorse to my supervisor, I don't know what I found funnier: the look on the supervisor's face, or the fact that one of the complainants had remarked that whichever medic was singing, did a remarkably accurate impression of Porky Pig singing Blue Christmas.
My partner and I pondered the possibilities afterward (and from the duck blind during our suspension) of what it would be like to have Porky Pig as a partner. Imagine Porky delivering a patient report or asking medical control for orders, or asking a stroke patient to say, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."
Ultimately, we had to reject the notion of Porky Pig as the perfect paramedic partner, because as funny as it might be to watch him do those things, he'd also be likely to raise his hand and ask questions during those interminably boring CE sessions, and if we ever let him order food in the drive-thru, we'd never get to eat.
So in that spirit, I give you my list of the Top 10 Celebrities it Would be Cool To Work With:
Wile E. Coyote. Excuse me, that's "Wile E. Coy-o-tay, splinting geeeeenius." Everybody has worked with that EMT who seems capable of fashioning a traction splint from a popsicle stick, a back issue of JEMS and a couple of Twizzlers, but Wile E. Coyote is the master of improvisation, baby. Besides, who wouldn't like to run calls in an Acme rocket-powered sled?
Nathan Fillion. Some people, when in need of leadership inspiration, look to historical military figures, or Winston Churchill. I, however, subscribe to the wisdom of Captain Malcom Reynolds. Come on, who wouldn't want Captain Mal as your operations supervisor? He'd have ample experience keeping your rickety ambulances running, and when he tells a patient, "You're too gorram pretty to die," you'd believe him because he's, well… Captain Mal.
And if you think he's too free-wheeling to be a good medic, you probably work for the Alliance anyway. Or you QA EMS run reports, whichever.
Ken Jeong. I've met a bunch of doctors who thought they were funny, but Ken Jeong is one doctor who actually lives up to the hype. Imagine working a code with this guy, also known as Mr. Chow from "The Hangover."
Stevie Wonder. It would take one of those U.K. ambulances with the steering wheel on the wrong side to make this work, but think of the comedic potential. Perch Stevie in the left front seat, turn on your lights and sirens, and zoom off down the street. When you approach the annoying woman in the convertible, yakking on her cell phone and ignoring everything around her, just pass her on the right. And as you draw abreast of her, she curses and makes an obscene gesture at the driver… and it's Stevie. Freakin'. Wonder. Now, how cool would that be?
Plus, Stevie has abnormally acute hearing. He'd be your go-to guy for auscultation. Next time the triage nurse asks that silly questions about the patient's bowel sounds, you could give her a real answer instead of saying, "Sounds like a Powerstroke diesel engine."
R. Lee Ermey. Take your id, and place him in the passenger seat. Now give him free rein to say all the things you've wanted to say to your patients but couldn't, with all the creative profanity he can muster. If that part of your psyche had a face, he'd look just like Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in "Full Metal Jacket." Imagine hanging back on your next 3:00 a.m. hemorrhoids call, basking in the warm, warm glow of satisfaction as your partner bellows, "What is your major malfunction? Didn't Mommy and Daddy teach you to drive your freakin' car for namby pamby complaints like this? You got hemorrhoids? You ARE a hemorrhoid, maggot!"
Heck, I get a wistful tear in my eye just thinking about it.
Christopher Walken. Every single time we get dispatched to a nursing home, and the nurse says, "He's got a fever…," it takes every ounce of willpower I can muster not to finish with, "… and the only prescription, is more cowbell." Who better to deliver a line like that than the man himself? Chris Walken is the prefect creepy/quirky type of cool to work a night shift with.
Chuck Norris. Little known fact: When the Grim Reaper goes to bed at night, he first checks under his bed for Chuck Norris. He'd be the ultimate white cloud, because when Chuck is on duty, people are afraid to die. Wouldn't need a glucometer or i-STAT either, because Chuck Norris can taste a single drop of blood and give you a blood glucose reading, CBC and electrolytes, and blood type. Plus, you'd never again need lights and sirens. Just perch ol' Walker, Texas Ranger on the hood, and he could roundhouse kick traffic into the ditch as you blow past.
Neil Patrick Harris, circa 1990. Every partner I get these days looks so young I'm tempted to call them Doogie Howser, so I can only imagine how young they look to our elderly patients. Picture the look on their faces when we say, "No Ma'am, he's not an EMS Explorer. He's our medical control physician."
Darth Vader. The dark lord of the Sith is the perfect crusty, cynical burned-out partner. He's done it long enough to know all the shortcuts, and he's not too hung up on pesky things like compassion and ethics. He doesn't need a cardiac monitor -- vehicles simply levitate out of the way on emergency responses, and no more waiting for the defibrillator to charge. To heck with hands-free defibrillation, Vader gives you across-the-room defibrillation. When the triage nurse says, "We're full up, find a spot on the wall," he could do the Jedi Mind Trick and say, "They don't need to wait. They can go straight to a room."
Best of all, if some uppity PGY1 resident questions his treatment, he could turn to them and say in that quiet but menacing voice, "Personally, I find your lack of faith… disturbing."
I'd pay good money to see that.
Randy Mantooth. Picture it: You're bringing a patient to the ED in the city that everyone hates, the one where the nurses are snotty, the doctors all graduated medical school with Galen, and everyone treats medics like they're one step above amphibian dung.
You roll in with your patient, and the medic gives report: "50-year-old male with Beta-blocker overdose, slow PEA on arrival. Intubated, IO in the left leg, got ROSC after glucagon, calcium, bicarb and two rounds of epinephrine…"
… and Doctor Ancient looks up to see that the medic giving handoff report is Johnny Gage.
Then Randy could give him that famous toothy grin, clap him on the shoulder and say, "Relax, Doc. It's not really 1974, despite the way you practice medicine."
Got any celebrities or famous characters you'd like to work a shift with? Chime in with your comments.