Neil H. Baum, MD, presented “The Medicinal Value of Humor” for the Grand Rounds in Urology audience in November 2021.

How to cite: Baum, Neil H. The Medicinal Value of Humor.” November 2021. Accessed Dec 2022.

The Medicinal Value of Humor – Summary

Grand Rounds in Urology Contributing Editor Neil H. Baum, MD, Professor of Urology at Tulane Medical School, discusses the health benefits of humor and gives suggestions on how urologists can incorporate it into their practices. He begins with a brief history of humor and medicine, noting that sources from as far back as the Old Testament link humor to good health. Dr. Baum then considers the scientific relationship between laughter and illness, noting that laughter increases heart rate, releases endorphins, stimulates the immune system, and decreases cortisol. He explains that research indicates these physiological effects can decrease stress, increase pain tolerance, and perhaps even help with depression. Dr. Baum highlights the particular importance of humor in the high-stress COVID era, especially since laughter may increase immunity for upper respiratory illnesses. He then provides some examples of how to bring humor into a urologic practice, such as hanging humorous images on the walls, keeping comedy magazines in the lobby, and putting jokes on fax sheets. Dr. Baum concludes that humor is great medicine, and that urologists should not only use it with their patients, but should also prescribe it to themselves.

For more commentary on practice management from Dr. Baum, visit his Improving Your Urology Practice page.