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:
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.
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
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.