Jamaica Magazine

Book Review: What’s New Doc?


The first story in this book is called “The Value of a Smile”, because it is intended to be a happy book, although the first story is poignant rather than funny.

Recalling the many humorous encounters she had experienced while working at the Veterans’ Affairs Out-Patient Clinic in Orlando, Florida. (V.A.O.P.C.)  the author decided to collect funny stories from fellow medical professionals — physicians, nurses, dentists, podiatrists, etc., print the stories, and then share the compilation with the contributors.

Sometime later, she expanded her collection to memorable stories, because not all positive stories are necessarily funny. In time, the idea evolved into a book project with the goal of contributing to her Alma Mater, University of the West Indies.

Here is one of the stories which she calls, “Low Mileage”.

An older urologist tells the story of a patient who came to see him complaining of impotence.

Since some patients have unusual ideas of what impotence is, he usually tried to get a history of how active the patient is sexually, and what makes them feel that they are impotent.

During the course of the interview this patient was asked how frequently he had sex when he was young, and virile.

The patient replied that he used to have sex once weekly, and asked the doctor whether he had worn out his sex drive by having too much sex.

At which point, the urologist exclaimed,

“My G-d, man, it didn’t wear out, it rusted out!”


The book came in the mail Thursday noon, and before nightfall I had already read 178 pages.  Hard to put it down.  Very interesting, and a winner.  But I got to thinking, who would know unless it was marketed.  I was happy I had a copy, and will share with my kids and friends.   Some stories are funny, some poignant, some serious, some tragic.  The human race is full of unique characters, that’s for sure.  Sadly, I noticed several with racial overtones, and it is a sad commentary on the human race that we judge people on their color rather than on their character, or even judge at all.   Thanks for alerting me, and I am enjoying every page. Congratulations for a fine job   

Frank B       


“Medicine can be raunchy!” is the comment a friend made when I shared some of my stories with her.

Another friend stated, “These stories are outrageous!” and his statement gave me an idea for the subtitle.

My reply to these friends is, “But they are all true. In fact, you should have heard the ones I rejected, in the interest of propriety.”

According to my three children, belonging to a family in which both parents are physicians requires a strong constitution. Stories shared at the dinner table were sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes carried a moral, and often involved gory details, which my children would have preferred we left out.

One of the stories with a moral was that of a teenager, who hitched a ride with a man, who was driving drunk. In the accident, which caused the young man to be brought to the E. R., he sustained severe abdominal injuries and lost his spleen.

That day the moral of the story was, “Do not hitch hike!”

DUI, became the dinner topic on the day when an injured, drunk patient was brought in to the E. R. after running his car into a parked patrol cruiser.

My stories are short and pithy.

They will make you laugh.

They will make you cry.

They will make you shake your head, for whatever reason.

They will make you wish you had shared a story.

They will make you healthy, because laughter is good medicine.




Elaine Myrie-Richards is a retired physician who lives in Winter Springs, Florida. She obtained her medical degree from the University College of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica. She completed her residencies in Rehab Medicine in New York, and Internal Medicine  in Toronto.  After relocating to Florida, she worked with the Veterans’ Affairs for twenty years. There she was in charge of working with the VIST program, the ex POW program, the Spinal Cord Injury team, and the Rheumatology Clinic. She also was the Medical Director of the Women’s Clinic for five years prior to retiring.  She now spends her time volunteering, enjoying traveling, and gardening. She is a Master Gardener.

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Staff Writer