THE BEST OF MEDICAL HUMOR - A Collection of Articles, Essays, Poetry, and Letters Published in the Medical Literature, 2nd Edition, By Howard J Bennett, MD, Hanley & Belfus, Inc., 1997, Philadelphia, 181 pp

Just as medical texts required second and further revisions on a regular basis, Dr Howard Bennett revised his book on Medical Humor because humor changes. Over 50% of this edition is new. On the faculty of George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, Bennett did extensive library research to collect witty, humorous aphorisms and items as the subtitle states. This is not a joke book. It won't make an audience belly laugh or fall out of their seats. But it will make you smile and feel good.

Just seeing the informed consent for a hernia with signature lines of the patient, his lawyer, the doctor's lawyer, the hospital's lawyer, the anesthesiologist's lawyer, the mother-in-law, and the notary public will allow you to see today's realities, reflect on them, and decide that we've gone too far and pull back to the real realities.

He found a pulmonary fellow who sent his wife a valentine when he thought that the cardiac system was receiving far too much attention: Roses are red, Violets are blue, Without your lungs, Your blood would be too.

There are short witty essays "On the Professional Patient," "Dial a Lawyer," "PostMortem Medicine--A New Specialty," "Managed Care: The Fast-Food-for-Thought Therapy Approach," all with references for further reading! His Medical Horoscopes is rather ingenious. This is just a wonderful volume to have within reach when inspiration fails or the mood simply needs elevating.

Del Meyer, MD