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Illustration by Murat Yukselir/The Globe and Mail

There were a satisfyingly large number of entries to these challenges. Thank you to all who entered. I stripped off the names, did the judging, and reattached the names – all covered by the provincial health plan. As you will see, some readers have more than one entry, and entries in more than one category. Where there were two similar entries, I flipped a coin – a well-known surgical procedure.

—Warren Clements

Challenge #1

The challenge was to say how you can tell you need to get a new doctor or switch to a new hospital. Ginny Ratsoy asked: “In what fantasy world do I even have a doctor?”

You know you need a new doctor or hospital when …

You tell the doctor you need a support dog and he says a cane would be more useful. (Marlene Brown)

You hear the nurses and doctors arguing about whether that silly germ theory means they need to wash their hands. (Natalia Mayer)

The hospital is closed to patients during the holiday season since it’s also an Airbnb. (Charles Crockford)

Their outpatient clinic is lawn chairs in the parking lot. And it’s winter. (Meredith Briglio)

Not only is the doctor unmasked, but he is also coughing. He explains, “Allergies, etc.” (Ginny Ratsoy)

The surgeon is okay with removing your liver because everyone has two. (David Roberts)

She says, “Scrub in, partner, may need you to lend me a hand on this one.” (Meredith Briglio)

Just before your colonoscopy, the gastroenterologist accidentally drops a tray of instruments onto the operating-room floor. He quickly gathers them up and loudly proclaims, “30-second rule.” (Preston)

You are forewarned that your current health plan does not include autopsy costs. (Jean-François Belanger)

You tell your G.P. that your night sweats are very uncomfortable. She suggests you wear leggings and a T-shirt instead. (Shirley Shikaze)

The only staff present in the hospital is staphylococcus. (Claire Meranda)

Your doctor’s name tag reads “Coroner.” (Jennifer C. Tang)

She says you’ll be well cared for, as you’re her only patient. (David Stones)

His diploma is written in crayon. (Anya Orzechowska)

The anesthetist asks if you are allergic to helium. (Charles Friedrich)

She says, “Wow! When I post about this my Instagram is going to blow up!” (Meredith Briglio)

The hematologist has a pail of leeches and a salt shaker in the examination room. (Lou D’Souza)

After major heart surgery the surgeon invoices you also for the removal of your appendix and calls it an “addendum.” (Peter Janssen)

The graduation photographs in the waiting room are printed in sepia. (Anna Leggatt)

Your physician can’t heal himself. (Diane Bethune)

Before examining you, the cardiologist says, “Just remind me – which side is your heart on?” (Natalia Mayer)

The surgeon in pre-op says hello, Mr. Wilson, are you ready for your vasectomy, and you are Mrs. Smith there for a hysterectomy. (Roger Emsley)

Your hospital’s emergency department converts to “self-serve.” (John Rankin)

Your doctor consistently ignores the Hippocratic oath because he thinks it’s a swear word used by African river horses. (Colin McNairn)

Instead of cotton balls they use Tim Horton’s napkins. (Meredith Briglio)

Your doctor says you have to have a partial colectomy, but not to worry, because then you’ll have a semi-colon. (John Edmond)

Your hospital starts fundraising for its new Kevorkian Wing. (Michael Derblich)

You ask your doctor if you can work after your surgery and he says they don’t have any job openings right now. (Marlene Brown)

Your hospital’s private ambulance is slow because the Uber rider has to be dropped off first. (Charles Crockford)

At the main hospital entrance, visitors are required to strip down to their underpants. (William Aide)

The emergency department sublets part of its space to an undertaker. (Ian A.C. McCallum)

You go in for a bypass and the doctor says, “I’m a surgeon, not a traffic controller.” (Claire Meranda)

During your tracheotomy the surgeon asks for a Bic pen because he saw it done that way on TV. (David Roberts)

The doctor checks your fever with a meat thermometer. (Bill Glover)

Every time you mention a symptom, he Googles it. (Natalia Mayer)

There are more hearses than ambulances parked outside the hospital. (Doug Maloney)

The hospital’s food is so bad the Humane Society charged it with cruelty to rats. (Charles Crockford)

The surgeon’s tools come from Home Depot. (Natalia Mayer)

Your doctor says, “Why yes, I did intern under Dr. Moreau, why do you ask?” (Charles Friedrich)

You translate the inscrutable Latin labels on your prescriptions and they all turn out to be for Restoralax. (Carol Anderson)

You are in the hospital basement and the elevator sign points down only. (Ginny Ratsoy)

What you thought was the ECG display is a YouTube video, “How to perform heart surgery.” (David Roberts)

He’s often wearing a Wal-Mart Greeter’s shirt. (David Stones)

At the ER, receptionists warn of lengthy wait times while issuing vouchers for a nearby EconoLodge. (Michael Alexander)

You tell the surgeon, “I’m nervous; it’s my first operation,” and he says, “Whoa! Me too!” (Natalia Mayer)

The lighting in your hospital’s parking lot was improved so doctors could operate while you were still in your car. (Charles Crockford)

When you complain of shortness of breath, she says, “Well, they both seem normal size to me.” (Ian A. C. McCallum)

Your doctor tells you your cancer is terminal so you ask him how much time you have left and he says he has a busy day so he’ll have to go. (Marlene Brown)

The hospital’s director said the operating room doesn’t need flood lights, since the city hasn’t had a flood in years. (Charles Crockford)

The medical certificate above her desk is from “Acme Medikal and Veterinary Colege.” (David Stones)

You jump up from the operating table just in time when you see a medical text propped open to a “How to” page. (John Edmond)

The waiting room is lined with washers and dryers. (David Stones)

The operating theatre closes at 6 every night to accommodate performances of My Fair Lady. (Charles Crockford)