Category Archives: Medical Verse

Bronchiolitis guideline limerick

In honor of bronchiolitis season, I am posting here a limerick I wrote summarizing the AAP’s 2015 guidelines for treatment of bronchiolitis:

When treating bronchiolitis,
Refraining from films would delight us!
Please also avoid
The neb and the ‘roid…
After all it is only a virus!

For other medical verse, please see my blog.

Source: Bronchiolitis guideline limerick

Limerick version of In Defense of Food

This poem is inspired by Michael Pollan’s PBS documentary In Defense of Food, available here for free viewing until the end of the month:
The wisdom Michael Pollan incants–
Eat food, not too much, mostly plants—
Is simple declared
Yet we’re easily ensnared
By the food industry’s science-y dance.
So here are some other wise rules
That Pollan provides as tools
To help navigate
Pseudo-research-y bait
Including that from some prominent schools.
First, avoid what would seem unreal
To your great grandma as a true meal
Those with ingredients covert
Like Ho-Ho’s and Go-Gurt–
Food “products” that over make us keel.
Next, avoid added forms of fructose
It’s in many things—often high-dose
Such as soda and chips,
Fat-free yogurt, pretzel sticks,
Even “healthy” instant cups of oats!
Third, avoid the lure of foods that are cheap
These bargains cause our waistlines to creep
Buying lower quality fare
Costs us more on healthcare
And can hurt our planet’s upkeep.
Fourth, avoid health claims on the label
Whole Grain Lucky Charms are a fable
In fact, the healthiest (the plants)
Lack all label-based rants
Like “natural” and other finagles.
Last: buy local, in-season when you can
Or grow your own—what a plan!
At home, cook and enjoy
Sharing meals brings more joy
And may even increase your lifespan!
Check out my other medical verse here.


Limerick version of guideline on acute pharyngitis

This limerick is based on the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis and Management of Group A Streptococcal Pharyngitis.


Whom do you test for Group A Strep?

To avoid treating strep carriers (a misstep!)

In kids under 3 don’t bother

Unless a sister or a brother

Has symptoms and a test that say yep.


In most children with acute pharyngitis

The cause is truly a virus

So if they have rhinorrhea,

Cough, ulcers or diarrhea,

Then don’t test for strep in situs.


For tho’ treating might make parents merrier

One in five kids is a strep carrier

So treating viral coxsackie

With penn or amoxi

Might cause resistant strep–that’s scarier!


If your history, exam and test

Confirm strep as the pharyngeal pest

Then amox or penn work magic

Or first-gen ceph if allergic

Then clinda or a macrolide are third-best.





A limerick on the health risks of social isolation

Today’s limerick is inspired by today’s New York Times post on the health risks of social isolation.

On meeting one seemingly solitary

Invite them out, even if they’re not merry

Tho’ you improve their health plight

Expect no return invite

And if lonely, of invites don’t be wary.

The study quoted in the post showed that social isolation leads to negative thinking, which makes them perceive social outreach as a threat.  The post summarizes the findings nicely:

There are lessons in this data for both the isolated and the communal, and they seem less facile now that they are backed by research. Be nice and gently welcoming to the curmudgeons you meet. Invite them to share coffee. Don’t push for reciprocal invitations, perhaps. And if you happen to be the curmudgeon, accept that invitation. It isn’t coming from a predator out to devour you.

It reminds me of Lyle Lovett’s take on this issue.