Today was great day in the ER (sarcasm). I was working triage and we had over 90 patients sign in over a 9 hour period. Working triage means that I try to get labs and x-rays going on the more complex cases and discharge the easy cases. All the easiest cases fell into 2 categories: sick for 2 hours or sick for at least 2 months — except for one case. I called a 42-year-old gentleman back from the waiting room. He took a seat on my triage bed. As usual, I asked “what brings you in to see us today?” “I don’t feel good.” I then questioned with “Oh, for how long and tell me the story.” He goes on to tell me how he has had cold like symptoms for 3 weeks now and it is not getting any better. He has not tried anything or sought medical care before now. The reason he was coming in to the ER today was that he finally got the day off and did not have anything else to do (this is the normal reason people come in at this ER). So I start my exam. I listen to his heart and lungs. Then I look in his ears with an otoscope. Everything is looking normal – surprise, surprise. I then ask the patient to open his mouth so I can use the otoscope to look at his throat. I position the otoscope, like normal, about 8 inches away from his mouth when I asked him to open up. He proceeds to open his mouth and lean forward placing the entire head of the otoscope INSIDE his mouth and close his lips around it. It looked like he had an extra-large dumdum sucker in his mouth. After I pulled the otoscope out of his mouth, I just sat there looking at the otoscope wondering what I was going to do it. At the same time, I was trying to think how many people’s ears it had been in and how many more people it will come in contact with. I had never seen an otoscope used like a lollipop. I included pictures below to see if you can see any similarities that would make you want to stick an otoscope in your mouth.