Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Humor Magazine Targets Medical Funny Bone. (Helping Doctors Laugh at Themselves)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Humor Magazine Targets Medical Funny Bone. (Helping Doctors Laugh at Themselves)

Article excerpt

Dr. Douglas Farrago believes that a little humor might be just the cure for medicine's ills.

Most of his time is devoted to his family practice in Auburn, Maine, but Dr. Farrago spends many of his weekends and days off producing a colorful humor magazine that takes plenty of jabs at health care. The targets of the "Placebo\ Journal' include HMOs, lawyers, drug companies, government agencies, patients, and physicians themselves.

Especially the physicians.

There are definite stages physicians go through once they take that Hippocratic oath, as Dr. Farrago chronicled in a recent issue of the magazine. Among them:

* I want to be needed.

* I love my white jacket.

* I love the power of the pager.

* I hate this damn pager.

* I don't want to wear a stupid jacket.

* I want to be left alone.

The magazine is "a way for physicians to laugh at themselves," he said, noting that physicians face a host of serious problems these days. "We're getting our butts kicked by the HMOs, the federal government, pay cuts. We're not gods, obviously but we do have a sense of humor."

The Placebo Journal has attracted about 2,000 subscribers willing to pay $24 a year to get the 40-page, graphics-packed magazine every 2 months. Produced in Maine since October 2001, the magazine's total circulation of 10,000 far exceeds the paid subscriber base. "The rest is direct mail so that doctors can get a sample of our stuff," he explained. Dr. Farrago writes many of the articles himself, but fellow physicians submit some of the material.

The Placebo Journal isn't afraid to express the kinds of things that physicians wish they could say-but shouldn't. In his regular column, "My 'Realistic Week' in Practice," Dr. Farrago recently admitted that he doesn't quite know how to handle fibromyalgia patients. "For a 1 while, I thought I would go with the flow and buy into the diagnosis. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.