Patient BW, DOB 2/16/1971

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.

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93 Responses

  1. North says:

    This was eminantly worthy of the front page. I cannot praise it enough.Report

  2. Patrick Cahalan says:

    I’ve re-read this four times (interrupted each time), and a different line is my favorite every time.

    Currently the fav is:“I have an aversion to riddles.”Report

  3. kiragecko says:

    Just wonderful. The suggestion that Dick’s abusing Bruce made me laugh (that sounds very wrong now that I say it).Report

  4. Tom Van Dyke says:

    This post linked by Glenn Reynolds.  Instalanche!

    WD, Dr. Saunders.


  5. Frank_A says:

    Nice H&P.  As a pathologist, I can only DREAM of getting such a detailed Hx lol.Report

  6. Jaybird says:

    “Patient’s robust stature is not consistent with osteogenesis imperfecta”Report

  7. Tod Kelly says:

    Not only is this post awesome, but I think I can say with very little doubt that hit #3 million is going to be on this post.  And this pleases me to no end.Report

  8. Tim Maidment says:

    Came here from a link on and very glad I did – as a long-time comics fan I shall take great pleasure in waving this in front of a couple of doctors I know for their amusement 🙂Report

  9. Pat Myers says:

    Great job, but one thing that kept bugging me was the doctor’s confusion over Bruce’s relationship with Dick. Dick is technically his son. Why would it be odd that one of his 3 adopted sons or one biological son would accompany him to the hospital? Suggesting that he might be romantically involved is kinda pervy on the doctor’s part.Report

  10. Natalie says:

    This is absolutely wonderful. I’m so happy io9 linked to your site! I had to look up some of the medical terminology, which made this even more of a treat. Thank you!Report

  11. Patrick Cahalan says:

    This has been linked by numerous other locations.

    From the comments here, my favorite:

    That is a forgery based on pure speculation. The simple fact of the matter is that Mr. Wayne has enjoyed an uninterrupted and long period of excellent health – to which state of affairs several boards of directors can attest. I read (sorry, lost the link) a press release on monday in which he was forthcoming about the fact that he often seeks routine medical care for a man his age from some very private and elite physicians, including several offshore — but as he reasonably explained this is precisely because conventional domestic medical care providers are unable to protect the privacy of a man of his stature. The medical records leaked here are certainly a forgery for the simple reason that no such records can exist, for Mr. Wayne has never sought or received treatment from these people. Indeed, in this forgery, you can see that not only does the conventional system fail to protect his privacy but it will even make stuff up if he won’t cooperate.

    Next week after arrangements are finalized Mr. Wayne will release key excerpts of his authentic medical records as they are maintained by his personal physicians in Switzerland and Denmark. These will include many X-ray images that lay to rest rumors of “(> 20) orthopedic injuries.”

    These forgeries are particularly nefarious and targeted because, as far as Wayne’s organizations can determine, some of the physicians involved may have at one time believed that they actually provided service to Mr. Wayne when, in fact, they have never met. Wayne Enterprises is working with these doctors in an attempt to identify and prosecute whatever Bruce Wayne impersonator obtained treatment under a false identity.”


  12. Patrick Cahalan says:

    You’re front page on IO9, Doc 🙂Report

  13. russ busch says:

    well, well! isn’t this just fantastic? I will take this into my work @ Ace comics tomorrow, and wave it in the face of some of the biggest Batman fans I know……Excellent work!Report

  14. Patrick Cahalan says:

    This is already the seventh most popular post (page views) this year, according to our local stats database.

    I will bet dollars to donuts it beats out everything except possibly The Second Date Story by tomorrow morning.Report

  15. Angie says:

    Bravo, Bravo.  Amazingly good!Report

  16. For giggles, anyone wanna take a crack at how I came up with Dick Grayson’s phone number?Report

  17. E.D. Kain says:

    Fantastic stuff. See, this place just keeps getting better and better. All the traffic we’re getting from this post – think of all the ad revenue! Oh the riches…

    Actually, I’ve been at a conference the past few days and didn’t see this until io9 emailed me about it, but it’s quite brilliant and deserving of all the attention its getting. Bravo, Russell.Report

  18. Carmen says:

    That was fantastic. We are testing a new EHR system at my office and have to make several dummy accounts, I made one for James Bond, though not nearly as detailed or funny as this, you Sir are brilliant.Report

  19. franciscangypsy says:

    Teehee. This is great. The details on the history are astounding.Report

  20. vince says:

    imagine what would happen if the same doctor also xrayed dick greysonReport

  21. Mitsuki says:

    I keep re-reading this article, it makes me chuckle. Bravo! Also :

    Patient has denied being the victim of domestic abuse by Mr. Grayson following indirect and direct questioning on numerous occasions.

    This was comedy gold! I keep imagining how mortified Bruce must have felt when his doctor brought that up. Haha.Report

  22. Andrew says:

    Ehehe. That was fantastic. Thank you.Report

  23. “Family History: Both parents deceased (homicide). Generally assumed to be non-contributory”

    Absolutely the best line.Report

  24. Luke Boswell says:

    holy cow, I’m older than batman!  best thing I’ve read in weeks, doc. kudos!Report

  25. yes bruce wayne is the most “human” superheroes of all,he can fall asleep,he needs to eat,he doesn’t has any superpower ability…but the thing is ..he has a lot of toys !the combination of his gadget and his brain is just great !thats why he could outsmart DARKSEID …Report

  26. Obinna Onyeaso says:

    Really good.Report

  27. Felipe (Phillip) says:

    I can’t praise this enough fellas. This is absolutely fantastic. Extremely well detailed in every aspect (and funny too!). The part that Grayson might be abusing Bruce was the best part by far.Report

  28. Dan says:

    BP is only reported with an odd number (113) if taken by machine, however the fact that both the heart and respiration rate are divisible by 4 suggest a manual approach. Change BP to 114/68 and it’s perfect.Report

  29. Kat Lee says:

    Just wanted to chime in, Dr. Saunders, that this was a huge hit on the medical school student forums at UCSD – not only is this awesome, but you are also teaching us how to write medical reports properly with abbreviations! Thanks!Report

  30. Jane Howard says:

    I teach in a practical nursing program and a student emailed me this link!  I loved it so much that I plan on using it with my beginning students tonight to talk about how to read an H&P!

    I’m not even a huge comic book fan, but I got it! 

    Thanks for the laugh!Report

  31. Patrick Cahalan says:

    This now officially out-views “The Second Date Story”.  That’s not even counting the views on the subblog.

    The good doctor owes everybody a round!Report

    • Seriously, if there were a way to make this happen, you better believe I would buy everyone who showed up at the designated venue a drink.  (Also Megan McArdle, who seems like an exceptionally good sport.)  I am so pleased that people enjoyed something I wrote (mostly during my son’s naptime last Sunday).

      Now, of course, I’m thinking about sequels.Report

      • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Russell Saunders says:

        All of the candidates I’m coming up with as suggestions unfortunately end with, “Uh, wait, this should be an autopsy, because they totally wouldn’t have survived that last movie…”Report

        • Just thinking out loud, Batman worked because the whole “olympic-level athlete” thing was pulled back to earth by the “merely human” thing along with the positively brilliant discussions of the leftovers from the various injuries that he’d be likely to have survived (and the little easter eggs that readers found when they knew the REAL story behind injuries).

          What other superheroes would be interesting to read about for this many paragraphs? I certainly can’t think of any. Daredevil, Mr. Fantastic, Superman, Wonder Woman, Ben Grimm, The Flash, Wolverine… just trying to imagine the stories they’d give their doctor would be interesting after they came from the hands of our Dr. Saunders, but none thrill me the way that the thought of a Batman one would.

          Now, Carmen mentioned James Bond and that has possibilities… additionally, characters such as Rocky might be interesting… but the whole template of “human, all too human” belongs to Batman.Report

          • I have something in mind, which I’ve bounced off the Better Half.  It’s a variation on the theme.  I’ll mull it over for a little more time, then will probably see what select readers (that is, probably the two of you) think before I post it.Report

            • Patrick Cahalan in reply to Russell Saunders says:

              Even if it isn’t the success this one was, it will still be useful as a teaching aid, and apparently your post has been co-opted for that purpose by two medical educators.

              That in and of itself must feel pretty dang zawzome.Report

  32. Kyle Gordon says:

    brilliant, so so so perfect, thanks you so much for this. First fav line was

    “significant medical problems are associated with odd or incongruous explanations”

    then these

    “result of membership in a private and apparently quite intense mixed martial arts club.  Patient has denied being the victim of domestic abuse by Mr. Grayson following indirect and direct questioning on numerous occasions.”

    but to end w/ this

    “leaks of this information might undermine confidence in his company’s governance or alternatively might jeopardize secret government contracts.  While it is somewhat regrettable that patient does not feel comfortable revealing the true nature of these injuries and exposures, it is nevertheless understandable”

    is when you became my hero.



  33. Paws says:

    *applause* This is absolutely brilliant!Report

  34. Mike Morgan says:

    I’m a bit late to the party, I know, but I just had to comment.

    I routinely do a lot of “faux professional reports” for various projects.  I have a lot of difficulty coming up with good references for me to base my work off of more often than not; for example, it’s pretty hard for me to find after-action reports for modern clandestine operations of the type that I occasionally write about.  Often times, I have no idea where to even begin looking.

    Now, at last, I have a point of reference for one of those frustrating moments.  Something that, while I may not be able to emulate perfectly due to a lack of education, I can now be able to say to myself “Oh, a medical history for this character would fit in perfectly here.  I know right where to go to figure out the format for that!”

    Or, in less flowery prose, thank you!  Thank you so much!  You’re going to save me so much time of staring blankly at the screen and wondering how I thought this was a good idea!  Not only does this seem very professional, but the fact that I enjoyed reading it makes it that much easier for me to get an idea as to how it works!  I owe you one!  (Can I fit another exclamation point into this paragraph?  Yes I can!)Report

  35. Chance says:

    My favorite line:

    “well-defined (borderline hypertrophic) musculature.”Report

  36. Chris says:

    The only other hero I could think of that fits the “all too human” category would be Indiana Jones, and with the supernatural/classified/no one would believe this if I told them aspect of his adventures, it might make an interesting medical report.

    Excellent and funny read, keep up the good work!

    That’ll be $.02, please 🙂



  37. Jane says:

    Hi! I was wondering if you ever did any follow-ups with other characters?Report