The signs were becoming ever more ominous—and harder to ignore. The final straw began with a sudden, inappropriately dramatic glare from Dr. Harry while we lunched on 7-layer burritos and chalupas: “ZDogg! At last! We eat at Taco Bell! This large…gordita…entices with its smell!

I choked on my Fanta, forcing me to put down my daintily powdered churro while irredeemably staining my Rush 2112 concert T-shirt. “Why are you singing at the top of your lungs in the middle of Taco Bell?” I asked, my sense of dread growing as I nervously nibbled the edge of my sour cream-encrusted tostada slathered in Fire sauce.

“I…I don’t know! I…I’m not sure what’s come over me! IN MERCY’S NAME…THREE TACOS ARE ALL I NEED! Arggh! There I go again!”

A Misérable Condition

Look, I’m no psychiatrist, but I can recognize a DSM-V diagnosis of Acute on Chronic Misérables Syndrome any day of the week. Way back in medical school, we all recognized that poor Harry possessed many of the risk factors for the development of this potentially crippling affliction:

  • He was prone to spouting French translations of outdated American street slang: “Doctor Harry est dans la maison, oui! OUI???”
  • He worked as an understudy—for one of the tigers—in the Sigfried and Roy show.
  • His vanity license plates read “LAME IS”


Dr. Diego returned from the counter with his second order of four bean burritos with extra onions. “Radiologists like you can never change!” involuntarily crooned Dr. Harry.

Diego and I exchanged concerned glances in between bites of our Crunchwrap Supremes. It was time for an intervention. We needed to get this musical theater out of Dr. Harry’s system before it was too late.

Before his transformation into a Taiwanese Neil Patrick Harris became irreversible.

To purge Harry’s demons we first had to draw them out and face them head-on, in epic gladiatorial battle. Luckily, after our feast we were full of enough hot gas to truly belt out a classic—an homage to one of the most ancient and eternal conflicts in all of medicine.


Dang y’all, am I the only one craving L’Meximelt right about now?


Lyrics to The Confrontation: A Les Misérables Parody

(Dr. Javert)

ZDogg! At last…I paged an hour ago!

This alcoholic’s sodium’s much too low…


Before you say another word, Javert, before you dump on me reflexively,

Listen to me! This lab you must repeat…

(Dr. Javert)
This patient’s obviously going nowhere. He’s got no pants and he needs a SNF!

Stop blocking me, admission is what he needs…


Just get that lab, I pledge my word, if it’s still low…

(Dr. Javert)

You must think me mad! The waiting room’s completely packed!
Docs like you can never change. A doc such as you…

(Dr. Javert in Counterpoint)
Docs like you can never change, hospitalists can never change!
ED life you’ll never understand!

My lot is to be extreme–you have no balls, last week I snowshoed across Nepal!

I’m a doc who has no fear. You’re not fit to clean my shears!

ED docs are brawn and brain, epi’s running through our veins!
You can write your long-ass note, I just cric’d this old guy’s throat!
You can fixate on your labs, I’ll work on my rock hard abs!

I save patients, one by one, at least until my shift is done…

(ZDogg in Counterpoint)

Admit to me, what you like! There are no beds, the nurses are on strike!

You know nothing of disease, skipped class to spelunk in Belize!

I can rock complexity, you still shock asystole!

You’re a hammer so a nail is all you see!

I will not be dumped upon, by some chump with lycra on!

You can race triathalons, but I’ll just drive my car!

You can’t understand his labs, I’m the wiser doc by far.

There is dispo for him yet, his workup’s not yet done…


Perhaps this fight’s without a point.

(Dr. Javert)

We could be climbing Macchu Piccu…


We should team up not waste our time.

(Dr. Javert)

We could be kite surfing in Guam…


It seems this patient’s quite depressed

(Dr. Javert)

Yes…I begin to think you’re right…


Let’s admit just him…to psych!

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