Views & Reviews In and Out of Hospital

Christmas party games

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 06 December 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:1214
  1. James Owen Drife1
  1. 1professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, Leeds
  1. j.o.drife{at}

    Christmas will soon be upon us! Make sure your departmental party is one to remember with our medical updates to those traditional games.

    Musical cars—Managers and consultants can play this one together. The managers begin by closing half the consultants’ car park for essential maintenance. On 13 December they paint “Disabled Driver Only” on one of the 12 remaining spaces. With carols playing intermittently on the Tannoy, they paint one more space each day until Christmas Eve. The winner is the consultant with the toughest 4x4.

    Strip poker—This one’s for the microbiologists. The aim is to keep a straight face for as long as possible while getting your male colleagues to strip. With the magic words C difficile you can easily get them to wear bow ties and shortsleeved shirts, even if they aren’t paediatricians. Then, email them stern warnings about which body areas have the highest concentrations of skin commensals. If your poker face cracks, you lose.

    Beat the clock—It’s Christmas eve in accident and emergency. Several wards are closed for the holiday. Sister has just discovered a patient who needs admission. Players must find the on-call locum house officer before the clock strikes, or the trust will become bankrupt and the government will lose the next election. This game is really exciting. You will need a note from a cardiologist certifying that you are fit to play.

    Guess the guideline—In a GP surgery, the computer has crashed. A newly married female solicitor wants the latest official advice on safe alcohol intake in pregnancy. Players have to keep talking until the bell rings. There is no right answer, so everybody wins.

    Metal puzzles—A new twist to an old favourite. Players have to undertake a minor surgical procedure in the outpatient clinic. Each is given a sealed pack of instruments from the new central sterilising department somewhere in England. The winner is the first one to find a trochar and cannula that fit each other.

    Pin the blame on the donkey—This time, players have to be MPs in marginal seats. Something bad has happened in or near the local hospital and the press are on the phone. The first to pin the blame on someone without needing any more information is the winner. Have fun!

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