XXL Patient Jokes

On October 20, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Andrea



It’s because of your voice that Dr. Kelly issued a direct apology to the OAC in response to the hundreds of letters he received about his deragotory article in the magazine. Here is the apology from Dr. Kelly, which he gave us permission to print and share with all of our members:


Mr. Nadglowski,


I am asking for forgiveness for a recent column I wrote. I confess I am frustrated by the obesity epidemic and the risks I see my patients undergo. I did not use a constructive vehicle to affect change and instead used oneliners my comedian colleagues have used for decades. I was obese once – in college. I played football was not happy with the way I looked. I share the frustrations of many and used my medical knowledge (and Grace) to lose the weight. Ironically I see patients no one else will see and actually have more empathy than most. I made a lazy decision to use recycled lines in order to meet my deadline. I know not to judge and that this problem will be best rectified with compassion and kindness. I never meant to hurt anyone and I will endeavor to let other comedians learn of the potential  harmful effects their words can have.


If you have other suggestions as how I can undue some of the hurt I have caused, please feel free to let me know.


Respectfully Yours,

John D. Kelly IV, MD



As a Coalition, we came together and made our voices heard loud and clear and fought this issue together! Thank you to all our members!

Growing up fat, I heard jokes about my weight from my schoolmates all the time. Taunts and bullying is pretty standard fare when you are not the standard, or “desired” size as a young child. Hell, anything other than “normal” is reason enough for bullying.

Ironic that today, Spirit Day, a day the LGBT community advocates wearing purple in solidarity of the community and to stand up against bullying of those in the community for those of differing sexual orientations, that I get an email from the Obesity Action Coalition about a wildly inappropriate article posted in a medical journal written by Dr. John Kelly, IV.

The article, mostly a series of jokes about patients of size, was supposed to (of course I’m speculating here) bring light the difficult discussion physicians face with the obesity epidemic that we face.

However, he did so in a completely inappropriate and horribly tactless way.

Not only was Dr. Kelly’s common sense completely gone with the writing of this article, but apparently the editors that green-lit this article for publication were lacking in this department as well.

What jokes could I be so horribly upset by? Here’s just a few:


“There is a comma in your patient’s body weight.”

“The radio skips when your patient walks into the room.”

“IV access requires a priest.”

“The OR transporter demands danger pay.”

“Your patient has more chins than a Chinese phonebook.”


Adding insult to injury, Dr. Kelly concludes this article with the following:


Being honest, not mean
Yes, there are a lot of big folks out there. ORs aren’t like clothing stores; we don’t specialize in very large. We take all comers in an effort to heal them. But remember, if your patient’s jacket size is higher than your IQ, you may be in for a long day.


I cannot imagine the bedside manner of any “healer” who could view their patients this way.



For those with an Advocacy bone, feel free to write the following people and let them know how you feel about this.. “article” -


John D. Kelly, IV, MD
University of Pennsylvania Dept. of Orthopedic Surgery
34th and Spruce St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 615-4400

Dan O’Connor
Outpatient Surgery Magazine
255 Great Valley Parkway, Suite 100
Malvern, PA 19355
Phone: (610) 240-4918 x16


If you get a response, the Obesity Action Coalition asks that you contact them.

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18 Responses to “XXL Patient Jokes”

  1. Waning Woman says:

    Fat jokes or not, this guy isn’t even funny. If he’s gonna make fun of fat people he needs to brush up on his comedy skills #fail

  2. Penney says:

    I just sent an email to the editor in chief asking him how he thought that an article like that was remotely OK to run in a professional journal. I will be interested to see if I get a response. I reminded him that doctors and nurses take an oath to “do no harm”.

  3. Valerie says:

    my respnose.
    Dr. Kelly,

    I read your little attempt at comedy at the expense of larger sized folks. It really wasn’t funny in any way,

    I’m an RN and I’ve heard these types of nasty commentaries over all the 22 years I’ve been in practice. They never once helped a patient lose weight.

    I am also a formerly obese individual. I overcame my obesity 9 years ago through the kindness and patience of my primary MD and a very caring surgeon who performed my RNY gastric bypass.

    So, with my history, I can come at this from both angles. I realize the difficulties of caring for severely obese patients. There are challenges. But our responsibility is to CARE for the person in front of us, without judgement. Caring does not start with humiliation or cruel insensitive jokes.

    You really owe a whole lot of people apologies. and maybe you need to connect with an obesity advocacy group such as the Obesity Action Coalition. I know that at least manners can be learned, if not actual empathy and kind feelings.


    Valerie Rayborn RN

  4. Barbara says:

    I got the same article from OAC and I plan to report as requested. Ridiculous! I can’t believe this article passes the editors by. I am so upset I can hardly see straight. The good people of this world should not just idly stand by while this is allowed.

  5. Julie says:

    Emails have been sent to both the “author” and the “publisher”, as anyone reading this “article” should do.

  6. Margaret says:

    What a Jackass.

  7. Barbara Sultan says:

    You expect this from Jay Leno, not a physician. Totally shocked.

  8. Nancy says:

    mails sent to both publisher and editor. Good work OAC–let’s keep on top of these jerks.

  9. Michelle says:

    I sent emails. I got a response. Shocked!

  10. Diva Taunia says:

    Ah, they got to you too, huh? Noticed the article is gone. What I said to him was:

    “It is unfortuntate, however, that your publication would prefer to threaten lawsuits than to issue a public apology much like the one Dr. Kelly himself has issued. I had a great deal of respect for him after that. For Outpatient Surgery Magazine, none.”

  11. Andrea says:

    Yeah, they did Taunia.

    I responded to the email where I was asked to replace with a deep embedded link to provide said link, but was never GIVEN said link. So I don’t think Outpatient Surgery Magazine really wants this information out there at all. I think they’d rather have it swept under the rug.

    I’m unsure as to how to proceed from here. I know what I’d *like* to say, but that generally isn’t what is wise to say.

  12. Emmiejaye says:

    O’Connor threatened me with a law suit, as well. Nicely. His canned response makes it obvious that he’s not really concerned with anything but bullying anyone who finds his article offensive. Personally, it’s not worth any more of my time trying to deal with him or his journal. I said what I needed to say, as did many others. If this is a true representation of how he (and his journal) feels about this topic, than nothing is going to change that. If I can’t make my kid pick her clothes up off the floor, I sure as hell can’t influence a complete stranger to get his act together!

  13. Andrea says:

    I find these C&D’s interesting.

  14. Shan says:

    My opinion- bullshit apology.

  15. Andrea says:

    Especially on the heels of the legal fights by the publication and lack of replies asking for links they promise to uphold.

  16. Julie says:

    His article and apology made it on ABC.com today!

  17. Penney says:

    How can I “unDUE” the hurt? What the hell ever. It pains me when an educated person can’t spell the simplest of words. GAAAH. I still think he’s an ass and wouldn’t let him cut my food, much less me or a family member.

  18. Mona says:

    I sent the dr. an email and did get a response. It was one or two sentences and didn’t impress me at all.

    I am glad he made a public apology but I knew he would. He had to. The editor that allow that crap to be published should make a public apology as well tho. I will never read that magazine nor allow it in my home. I have posted everything on facebook and my friends will not allow it in their homes either.

    You’d think with social media so prevalent that they would work really hard to insure that things like this would never happen.

    Personally I think the editor should become one of the many unemployed!!! Bet next time he thinks twice before publishing an article about obesity…lol

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