Dr. Vandyk had a few phrases that he would use frequently. He used “Bah! Humbug!” when someone would wish him a Merry Christmas or someone would try to compliment him. One of the ward clerks that he knew as a baby he would tease sometime, but at Christmas he would say, “Are you ready for your Christmas goose?” and he would poke her in the ribs or the buttocks with the end of his pen.
A patient would arrive with a complaint of chest pain. He would run the minimal tests and admit the person to a monitored bed. He told us more than once as he wrote the order to admit the person, “pain from nipples to nuts. Admit them and let God sort them out in the morning.”
This did three things; it minimized his testing and evaluating the results, it allowed the person to be observed overnight, and the physician who accepted the admission was responsible for interpreting and deciding the severity of the malady.
A phrase he repeated when a staff member or a patient was in a stressful situation, “This too shall pass.” (He also used it when a patient presented with a fecal impaction or a child who had swallowed a coin or when he had a person who came in because of constipation.)
When he took careof someone who was overweight, he would say, “So round, so firm, so fully packed.”