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December 2002

The Last Acronym

Arch Surg. 2002;137(12):1446. doi:

I very much enjoyed the article by Baue1 on acronyms in the April issue of the ARCHIVES. I have known Dr Baue as one of the great surgical teachers, but he missed one very important acronym, and I would like to bring it to your attention.

As an intern in the home service of the Harvard Surgical Service, Boston City Hospital (Boston, Mass) in 1957, I had learned to come in before rounds to check on my patients, and I always began with reading the nurses' notes kept at the nurses' station. I performed few operations at the time, so I held in great regard all of the patients on whom I had personally operated. I was naturally very interested to see the acronym after my patient's name one morning: "FDIB." I found the nurse to ask her what this meant before I saw my patient. She answered, "Oh, that's just ‘found dead in bed.' "

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