Top 10 Funny Dictation Errors

I count down my top 10 funny dictation errors.


The worse part of my job is paperwork. One of the ways I get around the time consuming activity of record keeping is through dictation.  I use a medical version of Dragon dictation software which works relatively well… except when it doesn’t.  Certain proper names and newer medications are not readily recognized by the system and make for some entertaining and often funny statements within patient’s official records.  I catch most of these but unfortunately some do slip through.  Below I count down my top 10 funny dictation errors for your entertainment.



1. “She saw her cardiologist and these are relatively low was stopped”

Strangely, this one phonetically sounds pretty close. The medication is called Xarelto which was stopped.

2. “Your ratio of going to bed cholesterol is in a good range”

Wait!  You haven’t heard about that “going to bed” cholesterol?  This is cutting edge research on the cholesterol that increases when you head hits the pillow. Just kidding, this should actually be “ratio of good to bad cholesterol.”

3. “She completed the doctor Franklin yesterday”

Yeah, Dr. Franklin is a jerk.  I’m done with him too.  Actually, I stated the patient completed the “nitrofurantoin” (an antibiotic) yesterday. Yeah, that's not even close.

4. “She has avoided smoking and oral cultures except as because of this.”

Oral cultures? There must be something weird growing in there to want to avoid any cultures.  What this should say is “oral contraceptives."

5. “He would like to see Dr. ziploc” 

This one is not even close.  The doctor’s name is Des Pois, and while it is a nice french name, it’s not ziploc.  And I’m pretty sure ziplock is not french.

6. “The prescription was sent into his optimal Rx male service pharmacy.”

I am not sure the patient wanted any “male service,” but I guess I could be wrong. Well, at least it’s an “optimal” service. What this should say is Optum Rx mail service pharmacy.

7. “He fell asleep against a teacher.”

Man that must have been a boring lecture. Or there was something more suspicious going on.  The patient actually fell asleep against a heater.

8. “CT images reviewed indecently as well and discussed with patient.”

No, I am not turned on by CT scans and was not looking at it in an inappropriate manner.  I was actually reviewing it “independently.”

9. “He has not seen Dr. genitalia”

Fortunately our nurse caught this one.  While there is not a doctor named genitalia, this almost does fit.  The doctor I was referring to is named Dr. Janiga, and coincidently he is a urologist.

10. “He decided to try to see Alice for his erectile dysfunction.”

I don’t know who Alice is, but if she can cure ED she must be something. I figure I can’t be the only one who’s ran into this with a medication called “Cialis” on the market.



I hope you enjoyed these and got a laugh out of them like I did.  While I can laugh about these, I have an underlying queasiness knowing that there are probably just as many or more lurking in other patient’s charts that I have missed.   I’m sure years down the line I’ll look back and read some of these and be able to enjoy the mistakes.  For now, enjoy these as an early Christmas gift to you.

If you enjoyed this funny post, you may also like my post on vasectomies here.




2 thoughts on “Top 10 Funny Dictation Errors”

  1. I find that computerized language is often skewed. It is often very funny to read the subtitles in a YouTube video. I often empathize with the people who rely on subtitling because a few misguided meanings can change the entire gist of the subject at hand. Have you ever been amused by a patient’s mis-pronounciation of a body part or anatomical term. As a former triage nurse I have heard multiple bloopers. The few that come to mind are: I had a “laverne” tube after surgery, my boyfriend had a “hermes” knfection, I have bugs in my “public” hairs, and my mother has a sore on her “virginia”. My all time favorite was the fellow who spoke almost no English explaining to me that his malady included “plenty pleegum”. He spotted the look on my face and showed me his English/an Eastern European dictionary and pointed proudly to the correct wsord “phlegm”. These newly minted bits of language often added to the many amusing aspects of what keeps emergency workers able to weather the storm.

    1. LOL. I too have run into this. I also get some pretty interesting pronunciations of medication names. It can be very entertaining.

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