What Is It Like Working With Your Spouse? | Dr. Sydnee and Justin McElroy

KKH Trailer Wide


Justin McElroy: [00:00:00] Knock, knock, 

Will: hi! Knock, knock, hi!

Hello, welcome to Knock, Knock, Hi! with the Glockenfleckens. I am Dr. Glockenflecken, otherwise known as Will 

Kristin: Flannery. I am Lady Glockenflecken, otherwise known as Kristen Flannery. My 

Will: government name. It’s your government name too. Yes, that’s right. You were a wood. Yes, 

Kristin: that was my 

Will: main name. Wasn’t it a big pain in the ass to change it, was it?


Kristin: it was. It was not my favorite thing to have to do. I almost didn’t do it. I was back and forth of whether I was gonna take your name or not, cause, you know, modern womanhood, 

Will: but And then I couldn’t take your name. Right. You wouldn’t make me be Will wood. That 

Justin McElroy: was 

Kristin: the thing we, we discussed. Like philosophically, neither one of us had like, oh yeah.

We weren’t against the idea. It was just, yeah. How it sounded was a no go. I [00:01:00] don’t think we . 

Will: Yeah. I don’t think, and then we ended up just, uh, making a third name for ourselves with Glock Flecking. That, that’s right. So, you know, it all, it all just worked out 

Kristin: in the end. Yeah. Ultimately, I think what did it for me was, was I wanted to have the same last name as Mike.

Children, and we also didn’t, we talked about hyphenating, that also did not sound very good. Flannery Wood. Wood Flannery, you know I just, we didn’t have. 

Will: Flannery is a tough name. It’s 

Kristin: hard to match, yeah. To match with anything. That’s right. It was just the path of least resistance. Yeah, I suppose it was.

Just take yours. Except for the paperwork. That was a lot of resistance. 

Will: That’s true. Yeah, but you know, it worked. And guess what? We’re talking today. Yeah, to another married couple who makes content. 

Kristin: That’s right. And specifically 

Will: podcasts. Podcasting couple. We’re talking to Dr. Sydney and Justin McElroy.

That’s right. You all know them from Sawbones. Yeah. Oh, so many people. Love, I, I mean, at first I wasn’t, I wasn’t aware of Sawbones until like [00:02:00] people started reaching out to me and be like, Hey, you should, you know, check this out. Let’s get, get them on the 


Kristin: Well, and I should point out, you’re not aware of many things.


Will: I, I, before I actually started. Many people are aware of. I’m very limited in the, the, the podcast 

Kristin: stuff that I consume. Yeah, you’re not so much a podcast guy. Right. Aside from doing a podcast. 

Will: Well, I make, we do the podcast, but like, I, I mean, I have to spend so much time with other social media platforms that like podcasting and, or podcasts kind of go by the wayside for me a lot of the time.

You do have 

Kristin: a podcast that I hear you listen 

Will: to a lot. It’s sports. I listen to sports podcasts. But, um, uh, but, but once I heard about them and checked them out, it was amazing. They’re so good. They really are stuff. And they’ve got like whole Sawbones network, like not all? No, no, no. They, they’re not all called Sawbones, but their family has a, like a podcast family podcasting network 

Kristin: is on a podcasting network.

They do not own a podcasting network, but they do have several podcasts on that network. So see, 

Will: this is why Kristen fact, she’s like, one thing that she needs to be here for is just to fact check to make sure, [00:03:00] because I just say things you just spout off. Yeah. I just start talking. And it may or may not be true, but you say 

Kristin: it with confidence to the point that I think even you believe it.

Will: I try to be as accurate as possible, but I do need Kristen here to help me. Uh, but no it’s it’s and so They’ve been, they’ve been at the podcasting game for a lot longer than we have. Like 10 years, 11 years. I just want to pick their brain and learn all about this business that we are learning about as we go.


Kristin: they’ve been they’ve remained married the whole time, so see, it’s possible. Survived. 

Justin McElroy: Yeah. 

Will: And are thriving. So it was really fun talking with them, hearing their perspective, um. 

Kristin: Also they’re just hilarious. And they’re very fun. They were just like fun people to hang out with for an hour. 

Will: Exactly. Very fun.

So, uh, maybe we shouldn’t belabor this anymore. Let’s just get to it. All right. Here is Dr. Sidney and Justin McElroy.

Today’s episode is brought to you by the Nuance Dragon Ambient Experience or DAX for short. This AI powered ambient technology [00:04:00] helps physicians be more efficient and reduce clinical documentation burden. To learn more about how DAX Copilot can help reduce burnout and restore the joy of practicing medicine, stick around after the episode or visit Nuance.

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Here we are with Dr. Sidney McElroy and Justin McElroy of Sawbones fame And so is it a podcast network? Do you call yourself a network because you have like like what 50 podcasts 

Justin McElroy: now art? Yeah, so our family does a lot of shows that are on a podcast network called maximum fun But we are it’s it’s a family Co op, a conglomerate, 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: a, uh You have your own company.



Justin McElroy: have our own company, yeah. I say you do, I 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: guess it’s we do. Yeah, you’re, you’re 

Justin McElroy: part of the, the company. Yeah, we called the, we had to start an LLC when my brothers and I host an advice show and we’ve been doing this [00:05:00] for, I don’t know, 15 years, something like that, 13 years. And, uh, we called our LLC Big Giant Head because it made us laugh.

We never thought about how we’d have to go to banks one day and be like, yes, it’s Big giant head. Now you’re stuck with it. 

Will: Yeah, well, I’ll see that we may. Yeah. So 14 years, uh, were you, were you like the first podcast? I mean, like that’s, you were early in the game, so I’d love to hear like how you, how you got to this 

Justin McElroy: point.

Okay. So the short version on the podcast front, cause the medical stuff is a much different journey. My dad was in radio. He’s a morning guy for 40 years. Uh, and we, my brothers and I grew up doing like, uh, bits on his show. We’d do ads, like when they needed a kid voice, like, make sure to come to Buchanan Auto Mall where you’ll find the best deal, you know.

So we did a lot of that kind of stuff and, 

Kristin: uh, I hear kids have a 

Justin McElroy: lot of credibility. That’s true. I turn to my kids when I want to know where to buy a car. Um, so we, I grew up in that and, uh, went to school [00:06:00] for acting and directing and was I Working professionally as like a, a video game critic, uh, and reporter.

I ended up co founding a video game site called Polygon. com that, uh, is still going today, but I left there in 2018 because the podcast stuff started to grow. So my brothers and I, when my brothers moved to Cincinnati, I had already been doing a video game podcast. This was, uh, eight. I started doing the joystick podcast and then we started My Brother, My Brother and Me because they moved, uh, up to Cincinnati actually, about three hours from here.

So as a way to keep in contact. We started recording My Brother, My Brother and Me, which is an advice show where we just basically tell people how to live their lives. So 

Kristin: instead of just like calling each other on the phone, sometimes you had to have like a podcast. Right, 

Justin McElroy: well an audience, more specifically, right, the accountability of knowing we have to talk to each other, you know, at least once a week.

Will: And you knew that you were all incredibly interesting people, and like, yeah, people need to hear what we have to say. 

Justin McElroy: Deserve, even. [00:07:00] Deserve, 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: yes. Great advice. Yeah, 

Justin McElroy: great advice. So, Cindy and I had done a couple of different, um, TV themed podcasts around about 2012 that would have started. Uh, and those, honestly, we just didn’t have time to keep up with the TV.

Uh, well, you didn’t. I probably could have found some way of watching. No, you had time. Lots of television. And, uh, thanks, dear. Um, and then, uh, so, in 2013, we, uh, we We’re talking about doing something medical, but we knew it didn’t want to necessarily get into like advice. So we were like, what’s a way of like doing medicine that isn’t advice and Sid had this passion for.

For medical history, um, and I have a passion for listening to Sidney talk about whatever she wants to talk about. So it was a great overlapping of our passions. He’s very well trained. 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: I know. You say it just right now. So our, 

Justin McElroy: our, it’s a show about, how would you describe it, Sid? How would you describe Sawbones?

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: Uh, well, I mean, I, I dig through medical history for, I mean, [00:08:00] some of the obvious stuff that people, I think, kind of know about, like, we used to use leeches all the time. What was that all about? Stories like that. That 

Kristin: has come up a surprising number of times on this 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: show. Exactly. And that’s, I, I started digging for those kind of things and like, why did we do that?

Why don’t we? Or why do we still do those things? How do we use that now? What is the evolution of that diagnosis, treatment, sometimes figure in medical history. You know, what was this weird dude who did weird stuff for a while? And I research it and then just sort of tell Justin the story and Justin makes 

Justin McElroy: jokes.

And it’s wild. From those like early ones that like a lot of people know about, I’ve just been like knocked over by how absolutely buck wild we have gotten throughout human history and how we try to treat things that we really don’t understand. I mean, Victorians were eating mummies. To retain vitality.

Mm-Hmm. Like they would get chunks of mummy. Well, there are lots 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: of things that 

Justin McElroy: that would cure. Yeah. But they would eat. Mummies did work. Did it work? Did it work? Did it work? No. Actually that one, no, [00:09:00] that one will worked. It wild actually. 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: But we ate 

Justin McElroy: all the mummies. We ate all the mummies. There’s no more mummies.

We’re done with mummies. If you see a mummy, it’s fake. ’cause the Victorians ate all the real moments. 

Kristin: Because when I think about vitality, I think I’m going to eat a dead thing. Yeah, right. That’ll help. 

Will: Absorb its essence. I don’t, I don’t know. What was the reason? Got to eat something. 

Justin McElroy: It’s kind of evolved.

Uh, I mean, round, roundabout COVID a little bit earlier than that. Uh, when you saw TikTok, especially, I mean, it’s like, I don’t want to lay all the blame at TikTok’s feet, but I think there’s something about the The short form like people who pop up on your feed who you have no idea if they’re an expert or not But they’re suddenly tell you about how important it is that you expose your perineum to the sun uh and uh, we started doing a lot more like 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: um, like modern pseudoscience kind of things taking on stuff that Uh, they’ll say is rooted in ancient beliefs or maybe is or isn’t, and then where did they come up [00:10:00] with that?

Does it actually work? Who’s selling you something to justify that? We started, and really that started before even COVID because of fluoride. Yeah. Fluoride, I always say like that was the turning point for us is we did an episode on why do we put fluoride in water? Where did that start? What, why, what’s the point?

And I was shocked at the number of emails we got from people who were like, oh, you’ve fallen into the conspiracy. Fluoride is a government mind control agent. And I had no idea that that. We had 

Justin McElroy: no idea that people like that were listening to our podcast. Well, that was one. Yeah. And so we were like, let’s really clear the decks.

Let’s like get everybody off who wants to get off. You’re going to get some, some, uh, if you’re an anti fluoride person, this is not the podcast podcast. It’s a podcast. 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: Well, and then that’s when we got into the vaccine stuff, I think, pretty heavily, heavily. So we’re like, well, okay, well, what else do we need to dispel as long as we have a platform to do 

Will: it?

Right. Exactly. And fluoride. I mean, I wish, like, we could have you talk to the entire state of Oregon because, you know, [00:11:00] Oregon. We 

Kristin: don’t have it in our water here. Really? 

Will: For exactly that reason, that people are, are. Concern, I guess maybe it’s conspiracy theories. I don’t know what the reason that people have but um, it’s ridiculous and and so 

Kristin: Yeah, so we have to do like fluoride mouthwash and then you go to the dentist and they will ask you If you if you would like for them to put that fluoride Nasty stuff on 

Will: your teeth for a nice little fee.

But anyway, that’s neither here nor there. Um, the, yeah, TikTok is a, a, just a, can be a cesspool for, for pseudoscience. And I get it on the ophthalmology side as well. There’s like. You got people that claim that glasses make your vision worse. Like it’s, and that’s a dangerous thing. Your eyes are being 

Kristin: lazy.

They need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and stop accepting handouts. 

Will: Yeah, people believe it. And the thing is like people will just believe anything they see on social media. So you talked about like whether or not they have the right credentials or any [00:12:00] credentials whatsoever, and it’s so hard to tell.

So it’s, it’s very frustrating, but I’m sure it’s got given you a lot of topics to address on your podcast. 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: Oh, it definitely. We, uh, we try to, I mean, I, I look at TikTok anyway for fun, so it helps give me ideas like, uh oh, okay, they’re talking about this, we gotta dispel that. And then our listeners send in, so I mean, that’s where I get most of my topics these days.

We get tons of emails every day of like, you should talk about this, and a lot of it is just like, I have this, tell me about it, I just got diagnosed with this, please share the history of it. Also, 

Justin McElroy: this, this poor woman has absolutely sacrificed her algorithm in every regard, every, every social media platform.

She has destroyed her algorithm. I look at some of the things that she has, gets surfaced because she researches all these wild things and she’s on another planet. There’s another dimension. You’re 

Kristin: probably on like an FBI 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: list somewhere. I’m sure I am. I mean, it’s really, I 

Justin McElroy: She’s on the FDA list. Yeah. I 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: want to Google stuff like, to debunk this, what is?[00:13:00] 

Will: Did your, did your relationship predate medicine? So when did you guys meet? Oh, 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: how long? Yes. Yes, 

Justin McElroy: we were. 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: Okay, so. Am I going to share the story again? You’re going to get 

Justin McElroy: frustrated. No, go ahead. Just do the story. We’ve known each other 

Will: I think it’s already frustrating. We have so many similar conversations, I swear.


Dr. Sydnee McElroy: We, we’ve known each other since, uh, we were 12 or 13, 12 I think I was. I was 14 years old. And, uh, we did community theater together. We still do to this day. We direct and our kids are in shows, our family’s in shows, and we’re in shows still. Uh, but that’s how we met. We dated, as you do in middle school.

For whatever 

Justin McElroy: that means, you know. One time you held hands. Mm hmm. Talked on the phone to each other while we watched Space Ghosts, Ghosts, Ghosts. Yep. 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: Yeah. And, uh, then Love this show. Justin broke my heart. He went 

Justin McElroy: I didn’t know we’d do this here, but that’s fine. No, well, 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: it’s the story. He went away 

Justin McElroy: to Not hug Not hug Bye.

I’m I’m out. [00:14:00] 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: He went away to church camp for a week and didn’t tell me. And so, here I am calling his home phone, because landlines back then. And nobody’s answering, and I don’t know where he is, and he ghosted me, and I was brokenhearted, and then he came back and tried to make excuses, but it was too late, he lost me.

And then, 

Justin McElroy: I was an idiot, I don’t know what to, I mean, you know, 15 year old, 14 year old guy, man, probably my, probably my dumbest. I mean, probably my dumbest, like, probably my dumbest. Mid twenties. Pretty dumb. Like early 20s definitely might be a competition. 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: Which is when we reconnected. That’s right. We ran into each other in college at a bar and picked up where we left 

Justin McElroy: off.

Banana Joe’s Island Party was the name of that bar. Hey, hey, 

Kristin: sounds like a good time. 

Will: Is Banana Joe’s Island Party still there? Is it still around? 

Justin McElroy: No, Pineapple Tom’s Peninsula Bash is doing great. 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: But that’s real, that really did spring up right next door. Somebody 

Justin McElroy: next door opened up another bar made by Al Toffin and it’s what 

Will: I think’s next.[00:15:00] 

What college are we talking about here? What is, where is this? 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: Uh, Marshall University here in Huntington, West Virginia. 

Justin McElroy: Okay, so, so we started dating again. So church camp 

Kristin: broke you up and a bar brought you back together. There you go, 

Justin McElroy: that’s life, yeah. I don’t know what 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: message we’re sending, 

Justin McElroy: but there it is.

But that was, that was 05, we got married. It was 2004 that we started dating again, got married in 2006, and then, uh, we’ve been together since. So we’ve been together 20 years. This time, it’s 

Will: this time. And Sydney, was it, was it always medicine for you? Was that, was that the path you were on pretty 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: early on?

Pretty much. I read the book The Hot Zone when I was 12, and I, I got really enamored with, um, hemorrhagic fevers initially. I was going to pursue infectious disease, so I knew since I was pretty young, like, yeah, medical school was for me. I, I will say that ending up in family medicine was not at first where I thought I would be, um, but I loved everything in medical school.

I wanted to do it all. Every rotation I wanted to do, I left [00:16:00] everyone, I was like such a gunner, because I left everyone going, this is my career, I love this the most, and like. Connecting with all of the professors and then the next rotation I would do the exact same thing and at the end I would 

Kristin: have hated Will.

Why? If you guys were in med school together. You were the kind of the opposite. What do you mean? Well, she was like trying hard and learning things. 

Will: I, I was trying hard. I, I mean, mostly. I don’t think you ever went 

Kristin: to class. 

Will: I did go to class. Sometimes. I did go to class. I, it was a struggle at times. Yeah, I, I missed some of those metabolism lectures.

You know, it was, that was rough. Yeah. Krebs cycle and all that. You don’t 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: really need that stuff. Yeah, you don’t, 

Will: you know, that’s a lot of 

Kristin: fat that could be trimmed. He preferred to learn on his own, so he did a lot, I’m not saying he didn’t learn it, but he just had a different way he preferred to do it.

Will: I’m a very, I am not a group project type of person. 

Kristin: No, so running a business together is fun. 

Will: Which is interesting to say that as we’re, it’s a four person little, you know, group we got going on here, but [00:17:00] uh. But yeah, so, so it’s, and so you decided, what, what was it that, because you said you were on maybe infectious disease early on.

So what was it that kind of flipped for you, um, 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: toward family medicine? When, so I, part of it was just, I liked everything and I didn’t want to give up any of it. I was like, well, I want to do all of these things that I’ve done rotations in and I don’t want to narrow that focus. And then I did my family medicine rotation last.

I worked. I worked in a rural family medicine office, um, about 25 minutes from where we live. So not far. We, we don’t, there’s not really an urban center in West Virginia. Yeah. It doesn’t really exist. So I worked at a rural family doc office for two months and I just fell in love with it. The variety and the challenges.

It was somewhat resource limited, which I already had an interest in that. And um, the doctor I worked with was just, he was brilliant. He was so easy to talk to. And like, He’s also from West Virginia, so we’re not really leaning into it right now, but our accents were similar. He could [00:18:00] get, you know, like, he communicated with all his patients so well.

He was just like a good old guy, local guy, who knew how to help people, but also he knew everything. I just felt like he knew everything, and I was like, well, that’s what I want to be. I want to, you know, communicate well, get along with everybody, but also secretly have this huge store of knowledge, and I just became really excited about family medicine.

Will: And also have a side focus on hemorrhagic fever, maybe. Well, sort of, yeah. A little side 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: business, a little I got, well, I got to pursue in my family medicine residency, I did the global health track. So I did, I did get to like go overseas and do tropical medicine and take like the military tropical medicine course.

And so I did get to pursue some of that 

Justin McElroy: stuff. You did like a month in Malawi. And then we actually moved together for a month to live in Honduras. Oh, wow. Where Sidney was doing Uh, very important work, and I was blogging about video games from an island 

Kristin: paradise. I thought you were gonna say sunning your perineum, so that’s better 

Justin McElroy: of you.

We didn’t know how important that was yet, Kristen. I was letting [00:19:00] my perineum just, just, uh, I was about to say rot. That was a terrible image, I’m not gonna say 

Will: it. Ew. Tropical medicine, rotting perineum. Did you 

Kristin: meet Pineapple Tom 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: while you were down there? Unfortunately, no. It all, it all came together well though because I, now what I do, um, I still do inpatient medicine with our family medicine service because I’m part of the academic medical service.

Um, but primarily I work at a shelter for people experiencing homelessness and, uh, that’s, that’s my day, I say job but I don’t get paid for it so I don’t know, it’s still a job I guess. Um, but that’s what I spend most of my time doing and I think resource limited setting medicine is very similar whether we’re talking rural or street medicine or global health and so.

So it’s all come together nicely. I was, I 

Will: was gonna ask what, uh, Justin, what were you doing during all of this? But it sounds like you, you had your hands busy with the video game 

Justin McElroy: stuff. I, is that right? Yeah. I mean, what we’ve been doing, the, the, we’ve continued to like ex do other podcasts. Uh, my, we’ve turned my brother, [00:20:00] my brother and me, we did a season of a TV show on a network called CSO that has since been discontinued.

We do a, uh, uh, role playing show called the Adventure Zone that we turn into a graphic novel. So it’s a lot of that kind. Um, I haven’t branched into medicine yet. I feel pretty well versed, uh, you know, 10 years. Do you 

Kristin: feel like you have an honorary medical degree at this 

Justin McElroy: point? You know, when I say that out loud, it tends to draw some ire from 

Kristin: You’re in a safe place with me.

Yeah, but you’re 

Justin McElroy: very far away and she is right next to me. So I don’t know how safe my place is. 

Will: Well, that’s, that was, uh, I wanted to ask you about that. Like, what was your, cause I know what Kristen’s perception of medical training and everything is, and it’s, it’s, uh, It’s hit or miss, you know? Mm-Hmm.

What was at, what was your thought process? Did you know what you were getting yourself? ? Did you know what you were getting into? Kind of, you know, you know, being married to 

Justin McElroy: medicine, it was tough for, I, I’m generally like, pretty good on my own, right? Like, it doesn’t necessarily bother me to be right [00:21:00] on my own.

What, so that was not as much of an adjustment. I’m pretty self, self-sufficient as that goes. What is hard? What was hard and what I was not ready for was. watching her go through something that seemed like so outsized and so sort of like unbelievable in the amount of work and the amount of dedication that it took and like, Trying to help her navigate that and not push herself too hard and still take care of herself while not really understanding for myself, like, if that was, like, to what extent I was right.

You know, to what extent, like, she could afford to slow down a little bit from time to time. Like, it was really kind of just kind of going by gut, I mean, to try to help navigate that. I mean, and The residency was, was just as rough, I mean, I can’t tell you how, I have memories of like that first year, like, you crying with me and us like looking on our phone.

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: I was, my, in family medicine we rotate through everything and my, uh, [00:22:00] peds rotation right in the middle of RSV season. I remembered calling you in the middle of the night when I was on call in the hospital and saying, what can I do with an MD that isn’t practice medicine? Like I was Googling 

Justin McElroy: on my phone, like, what else can you do with an MD?

I’m stuck with 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: this degree. What am I going to do now? I don’t, 

Will: I can’t do this. You’re like, there’s a medical video game that we could really use some, 

Justin McElroy: some, you know. Yeah. 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: Yeah. We got through that. Those are the, we, we talk about those now in residency as the crying times. You’ll, you’ll get to the crying times.

You’ll get through them. It’s okay. Ask for support when you get to the crying times. 

Justin McElroy: I could, I couldn’t, I thought a lot of it was made up at first. Like when she was like, and I will be there for 30 hours. I’m like, well, 30 hours, but like, how many of those do you come home and? How many consecutive hours, certainly not, because like people talk about 40 hours, that’s not in a row, I know that, so how is the 30 broken up?

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: Well I started out on our surgery rotation, and I walked in the first day, and they said we forgot to tell you you’re on call tonight, and I said okay, and they [00:23:00] said and also you’re on call every other night for the first two weeks because we’re down a few residents, so we’ll try to even it out after the first two weeks of the month, good luck.

And I remember calling Justin like, ah, what did I do? 

Kristin: Wow, every other night is maybe the worst idea ever. Right? Like, how do you adjust? Like you can’t get on daytime or nighttime when you’re at every other night. 

Will: Right. Time doesn’t exist when you’re at that point. Well, that was, when did, uh, work hour restrictions Because they revamped those.

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: So I went through my third year of residency, um, was when they stopped the 28 or 30 hour calls either way and switched to the, what was it, 18 hours for a while was the longest you could be in house. Uh, that was during my third year of residency, so my first, like, first and second year I got full on You didn’t get that.

Not, everybody lied about their work hours, nobody was, you know, everybody was just living in the hospital, and then my third year is when [00:24:00] they really started to crack down on that. I 

Will: assume you’ve done an episode at one point about the, what was the name of the guy that I know him, yeah. Yeah. And basically set the standard.

How can we never 

Kristin: remember this guy’s name? We talk about him all 

Will: the time. He basically set the standard for, for physician work ethic. Is that Halstead? Halstead? That’s, that’s the name of the guy. Yeah. Uh, we, 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: I don’t know if we’ve ever done one just, we have mentioned him. Yeah, we should. He’s come up in many of our episodes, but I don’t know if we’ve done one.

That would be 

Will: a good one. He’s just kind of an infamous guy for, you know. for, for the medical field and trying to undo some of the 

Kristin: trauma that he did. Residency hours being sat by somebody who was on cocaine. 

Justin McElroy: I’m glad, I’m kind of glad y’all, like, I, I didn’t, I’m, I’m glad I’ve learned since. I’m kinda glad I, I got a sweet 30 years of my life before I realized that maybe the doctor who is seeing me has, is like, been awake for 28 hours straight, like, I know how I get after being awake for 18 hours, it’s not pretty, like, and this cat’s like diagnosed, like, I’m glad, I’m kinda glad, I think ignorance was bliss in that exact case.

Kristin: Yeah, that was one of the [00:25:00] things I was always flabbergasted by. I was like, I do not want a doctor who has been awake for that long to be doing surgery on me. I do not want a doctor who is sick to be leaning over me and like, you know, getting close to all my orifices. No, thank you. 

Will: I have a very vivid memory from my third year general surgery rotation of Of it was, we had been operating all night.

We as, as if I was doing my job standing in the corner, but, um, uh, the, the resident had been working all night and it was like five o’clock in the morning. She was trying to type up her op note and literally falling asleep at mid sentence. It’s like, this person was just like trying to like saving people’s lives.

It’s like, it just totally. Outrageous, you know, what, what people put themselves through and still do. 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: It really is. I remember they, I remember a nurse waking me up. I was, it was, we were still doing paper charting when I first started residency and I was writing a note and I was [00:26:00] sitting in a nurse’s station.

I was way past hours and I was trying to finish a note and I had fallen asleep and I was just laying there asleep right there where everybody could see me at the nurse’s station. And I still remember waking me up and saying, you can’t do that out here, go back there if you’re going to do that. They can’t see you do this.

They If you’re going to do that. If you’re going to do that, go back there where they can’t see you. It’s unspeakable. 

Will: Let’s um, let’s take a short break and we’ll come right back.

Hey everybody, exciting announcement. Do you want to tell them or should I? Oh, you can. I’m so excited. Due to popular demand, we’re adding more live shows in California. Sunday, March 10th, we’ll be at the San Jose Improv and on Sunday, March 24th, we’re returning to the Irvine Improv to share our amazing story.

Yeah, we’ll 

Kristin: talk about that time you died. And came back to life. It’ll be a tragicomic, multimedia, memoir, stage show, extravaganza. 

Will: You gotta check it out. To buy tickets, click the link in the description below, or you can go to glauconflecken. com slash live. [00:27:00] We’ll see you there! Kristen, are you familiar with AI?

Kristin: Yes, I have not been living 

Will: under a rock. There are AI tools for everything now. That’s right. Well, guess what? We have Precision. This is the first ever EHR integrated infectious disease AI platform. This is super cool. For any specific patient, it automatically highlights better antibiotic regimens. And it empowers clinicians to save more lives while reducing burnout, just makes their life easier.

That’s pretty cool. Yeah. And also antibiotic stewardship. Yeah. Really cool things. To see a demo of this, go to precision. com slash KKH. That’s precision spelled with an X instead of an E. So P R X C I S I O N dot com slash KKH.

All right, we’re back with Dr. Sydney McElroy and Justin McElroy. Um, so you, you’ve been. You, you launched the Sawbones podcast together. You said 14 years ago, something like 

Justin McElroy: that. [00:28:00] Sawbones. So the podcast was. Uh, 11 years. 11 

Will: years. What was the, the podcasting landscape at that point? Like, were you, was this, I guess, were you, did you feel like you were blazing a new trail here?

Or were 

Kristin: you only talking to your mothers? Yeah, like what’s, It was, I was your only 

Justin McElroy: listener. It was a lot. Well, I’ll say luckily we had, I had done a few shows before Sawbones. We had some audience to like build off of. Um, I think it was, It was so much easier back then to like, make noise with a podcast, like, to, I, you used to be able to, we would not tell people about a show, and then we would wait and do it all in one push, and say, okay, here’s the show, now everybody, you know, this is the moment to subscribe, subscribe right now, and if you did that, usually your first week.

For a lot of shows you would be in the top 10 because it would be tracking new subscriptions, right? You just went from zero to however many so be like wow, this show’s [00:29:00] exploding and then you know, that was your Chance to get out there and like try to make a dent and get people to hear you Uh, and I feel like now like more and more there is so much I feel like it would be so hard To rise above the den, especially now that like more celebrities and people who have like big engines of I mean friggin friggin The day that I saw like Obama and Bruce Springsteen are doing a podcast.

I’m like, can we just calm down? I’m doing my best with my limited resources of me being me. Like, please cut it out. Yeah, but it’s a lot 

Will: harder to wait. Is that Obama and Springsteen? Are they together? Is 

Justin McElroy: that like do a show together? Well, like really? Yes. But you and me, we’re fine. Let’s, let’s just keep doing our shows.

I’m sure they’ll be just as successful. And well regarded as the Obama Springsteen show. It’s not fair. 

Will: Oh man. And like Conan, Conan had launched it. Yeah, you’re right. Like they’re, and, [00:30:00] and, and the one thing I, I, I watch a lot of sports content. Like it’s like my, kind of separate from medicine. And now, like, there’s, there’s so many, like, athletes, everybody’s, everybody has a podcast now.

And so, like, how, yeah, you’re right. How do you rise above that? I’m sure it helped to get in early. Sure, for sure. Right? 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: Yeah. Um, I think getting in early and, and finding a niche at that moment, that was the other thing. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed, I think. Yeah, we looked around and there were, there were a lot of trivia.

I think trivia is always popular. People like to hear things and then they can tell stories at parties and, like, win bar trivia and stuff like that. And so, I think something trivia caught on early and then nobody at the moment was doing medical history sort of trivia, was the way we thought about it at first.

It evolved into something that was more like storytelling, but initially it was really just like, here’s fun facts fired at you and it’s, you know, silly and funny, quirky, done. We were 

Justin McElroy: definitely inspired by, like, Stuff You Should Know, um, has a, had a similar sort of structure, that idea of like, one person’s the expert, one person’s the The listener.

I think [00:31:00] our bold innovation was what if one person, the same person’s always the expert and the other person is just kind of there. Uh, so that was our, but it, it, I think that has helped. And that’s still the thing that I tell people who are, who are thinking about, um, uh, doing a podcast in, in, in, uh, my podcasting book.

Everyone has a podcast except you. A commercial failure, but critical. Ignore, critically ignored commercial failure, still very proud, uh, that we tell you like it, you did it, you wrote a book, it’s out there, you can buy it, maybe not in a store, but like if you dig around on Etsy or something, so if you, uh, on Etsy, on Etsy, you are a hand making guy, they’re printing, printing out copies and selling them 

Kristin: illegally, somebody embroidered it and sells it on Etsy, the 

Justin McElroy: whole text, 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: I spend my life, copy, 

Justin McElroy: just for you, no, but I said like your, your podcast has to be, It’s Be able to, in a sentence, tell what it is and why it’s different from other podcasts.

And there are still, that has not changed. There are so many shows released where I look at it, like, I don’t know what the show is. Like, [00:32:00] it’s people talking and they enjoy each other’s company. I think that’s great. But it. I think unless you have a bit more specificity these days, like it’s really hard to get across without a killer pitch.


Will: Killer logline. What about working together as, as married people? Is that, was that, was that challenging to figure out the dynamic? The, or was it pretty? You guys all you know have always kind of been okay. I think overall. 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: I mean overall. It’s good We we excel when we’re working on projects and problem solving together.

I feel like it’s a couple. That’s when we’re at our best And so I think like creating the show together, and then we published a book based on the show and making that together Um, that is, has strengthened our relationship. I think that’s been good for us as a couple. Sometimes like, since I’m the one who does the bulk of like the work for the show, because I do all the research, I think sometimes that, that can be stressful where Justin’s like, listen, I know it’s been a busy week or like it’s, we’ve had a bunch of snow days and you haven’t had all the [00:33:00] time you normally have, but we really need to get this out.

So sometimes that can be stressful. It 

Justin McElroy: is tough to sometimes have to be, and you do this for me sometimes where it’s like. You know, there are many days, especially if you have kids or there was a pandemic where you’re like, I can’t, I don’t have this in me today. And it’s tough to be the other person who’s like, we have to, like, it’s not, it’s not, you know, one of you has to be the heavy and, and, or you’re just constantly letting each other off the hook all the time, which can be nice, but it doesn’t get.

Food on the table, you know, but, 

Will: uh, I think maybe your audience would appreciate maybe having, uh, Justin research a medical, uh, Well, you just 

Kristin: did the 

Will: Dr. Brands, see what he can 

Kristin: do. Their most recent episode is Dr. Brands where he did that. And by the way, you started with Dr. Pepper. Yeah. I grew up in Dublin, sorry, Dublin, Texas.

Justin McElroy: Okay. Have you been to the museum? 

Kristin: The Old Doc Soda Shop. Yes, my, my, you know, you always say that it was my younger brother who worked there. But yeah, it was just a huge part of the [00:34:00] culture of that town. There’s like two places to work in that town. Exactly. So yeah, that, and then we had a Miss, what was it?

Pretty Peggy Pepper contest every year. It was like a beauty pageant. There was a billboard where Peggy Pepper like swung on a swing like it moved 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: and everything. That is, that’s really cool. I love I love Dr. Pepper. That was part of why Justin started with that. I’ve been obsessed with Dr. Pepper since I was a little kid, and I always tell this story.

I was, I was having my eyes examined once, and the doctor leaned back and said, uh, you must like Dr. Pepper. And I said, yes, and he said, I can tell by looking in your eyes and I had to assume that was not true But I’ve never figured out how he knew 

Will: That is unless you had like rip roaring diabetic retinopathy

Justin McElroy: Sydnee, this is obviously a trade secret. Will, is not gonna reveal that here. How they know 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: what Sonia like I’ve never, I’ve never figured out how he, he was dead on. Never. I dunno how he did it. . Was 

Kristin: this a, [00:35:00] uh, misguided attempt at hitting on you, ? 

Justin McElroy: I hope not. 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: Oh man. Like I was young, so I hope not like Oh no.

Kristin: Middle school years. Yeah. Okay. Too young. Too young? Uh, 

Will: no. Uh, that’s, that’s, uh, that’s nothing. I don’t know what that is. 

Justin McElroy: It’s very strange. I will research some, I, the only ones, I will sometimes research episodes about, uh, medical marketing. Cause I think brands are fascinating. Like I did an episode about like NyQuil and I did some on, um, I think like Tylenol, stuff like that.

I just think that it’s, that it’s, there is a really wild number of medications on the shelves, like right now. That you go and like some of them are new, right? It’s wild that we have a section in drugstores that’s like label, like my Walmart has a homeopathy section and it’s like that they don’t just label like fake medicine here does not work.

Like don’t use, doesn’t do anything, don’t use. And it’s wild that we have that but then we also have these other like medications that we’ve had for a really long time that like [00:36:00] we’re just all gonna kind of pretend they do stuff and we all know that they don’t actually do. It’s a patent medicine that we’ve just kind of kicked around for so long.

Will: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, I mean, with, I get asked so many questions about eyedrops, because there’s a thousand different eyedrops and which eyedrops should you use. And there’s the homeopathic ones that patients come in to see me with. It just. It’s tap water. That’s it’s like yeah tap water with with concentrations of these random Extracts of things that are in such small concentrations that there’s no way it’s doing anything.

Justin McElroy: Mm hmm. Is it causing infections though? I 

Will: I mean, there’s there’s been a lot of reports in the news about people getting eye infections from over the counter eye drops It’s very 

Justin McElroy: very vindicated when Recently, everyone found out that cold medicine doesn’t do anything. Like, she has been banging that drum for many years.

Like, yeah, you can take it, it won’t do anything for you, but go for it. And I’m like, really? But it’s supposed to It says It has a picture of the nose right on the box. Are you sure? Nothing? [00:37:00] 

Kristin: Did you get some What about Sudafedrin? 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: They didn’t disprove that. I think it was just the phenylephrine. You 

Justin McElroy: just can’t get any more because people are making meth out of it, so it’s harder 

Kristin: to get it.

Right, because I used to, that used to work, and then they stopped selling it, or at least I thought it worked. Whether it was a placebo effect or not, who knows? But I did notice that when they changed it, I was like, this just isn’t doing 

Will: it for me. Yeah. Phenylephrine does dilate your eye a little bit. Does it?

If you give it in the form of an eyedrop, but that’s not what we’re talking about. So, um, do you get, do you, do you get a lot of pushback from some of the topics that you’ve, you’ve, you’ve, uh, you’ve addressed and some angry emails and messages and like, how do you, how do you deal with that? We 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: do. We do sometimes.

I would say, um, not as much these days because I think people kind of figured out the perspective. Like where we’re coming from a while ago, and I don’t know, our podcast is free, so I always say like, if you, if you really don’t like [00:38:00] it, you can just not listen, just stop . Right? It doesn’t cost you anything, the podcast either way.

There’s lots of podcasts. Um, and so I think, have you heard about the one with Obama? Yeah. Really? . That’s great. They’re much, much more famous people on podcast than us. Um, but I, so not as much these days. Still occasionally. Um, I would say that the real, like. Uh, kind of hardcore anti science people aren’t listening anymore, if they ever were.

Um, there was really a turning point, I think, when we started talking about vaccines. We started Um, with a very, I think very innocently like encouraging people to get a yearly flu shot, something like that. That we didn’t think would be the most controversial in the world, um, and then got a lot of pushback from that.

We did one on sort of the public health history of gun safety and that, I, which I should have expected. We live in West Virginia. I should have expected. I was going to say, yeah. The pushback. Um, but I was caught off guard by some of that. There, 

Justin McElroy: there’s a lot of, also I think when you talk about the medical system, like, there’s I feel [00:39:00] like when we talk about, uh, this is definitely like 2016 to 2020, about that range, when you would talk about the problems with the system that we have in the country, it can feel like, like if you’re talking honestly about a broken system, it’s going to feel like an attack, right?

Because it’s broken. It doesn’t, it doesn’t work. So like, there’s a lot of, I think. Sometimes just saying what the situation is, I think a lot of people, uh, uh, got defensive, like it felt like. It did, 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: and I, I was hoping to cushion that by I’m part of that system, and so I feel like I’m being self critical, I’m trying to be, you know, thoughtful about what I am also a piece of, um, but like we, we did, we’ve done episodes on like medical racism, and People just get really defensive when you kind of call those things out and acknowledge these sort of systemic problems.

They’re very quick to say, but not me. And I understand, maybe not you, but that doesn’t, you know, deny the existence. 

Justin McElroy: Yeah. You also have [00:40:00] people who are living in a, who grew up living in a system where medicine is a commercial product that people can afford or not afford and not a human right. And I think if you don’t believe that healthcare is a human right.

You are probably not going to jive with our perspective. Most of the time you’re not gonna be on board. Right. 

Kristin: How did you get? How did you get there from spending your whole lives in West Virginia and attending church camp? I also attended church camp and grew up in rural, 

Justin McElroy: Texas. Killer question. Killer question.

It’s all Sidney. No, I you know what honestly part of it is we were really fortunate this is just from my perspective because I would love to hear yours, but like When we, we are, we were a lot stupider, my brothers and I, when we started doing My Brother, My Brother, and Me, because we were, you know, doing a lot of like, dumb, fratty kinds of humor that like, you know, lowest comma denominator type stuff, and you, and.

When you realize that you’re talking to people who have a real wide range of backgrounds and experiences and you start [00:41:00] hearing from them like Hey, this sucks. Like it sucks what you said. It sucks that you’re not Educated about this this lifestyle or whatever and you’re ragging on it And I’m a listener like I’m a fan and when you guys like made fun of like furries for example or whatever Like it hurt it sucked and it’s like wow you start to think more about Anybody could be listening to this and maybe I want to talk in a way that like doesn’t hurt anybody or at least hurts people as least amount as possible.

So, that was like my personal, I guess, sort of like journey. I don’t know how 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: you’re We were, well, I was raised a little more radicalized than you were, I would say. That was, I mean, that was kind of the perspective I was already coming from. Um, I’d done a lot of traveling with the global health track and that, I think, gives you a different perspective.

I think that helps broaden your And then I think living in a state like West Virginia where, um, the rights of, you know, marginalized groups, oppressed groups have been under attack for a while here, I think that [00:42:00] actually just I mean, it pushed me further in the other direction. I mean, I’ve, we’ve had to actively speak out and fight against that here.

Constantly, we’re still doing it. Our legislature’s in session right now, and there’s all kinds of horrible things that would restrict my practice and the rights of the people I care about. And so, I think Sidney spends a 

Justin McElroy: lot of time calling, um, the Uh, our state representatives, uh, and, uh, haranguing 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: them.

Uh, it’s Several made the mistake of giving me their cell phone, so that’s on them. That’s on them. Yeah, that’s their phone. 

Justin McElroy: I’m gonna hear from them. 

Kristin: What did they expect? Yeah. 

Will: Well, you, you, you did. I wanted to ask, actually, about your, your venture into politics. Um, If, if it’s okay, I don’t know if it’s a sore subject at all, but, but yeah, because 

Justin McElroy: yeah, 

Will: yeah, yeah, so when, when was it you ran for, was it the, the state house?

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: It was in West Virginia. We have a House of Delegates, which I think most places it’s an assembly. Ours is the House of Delegates. Uh, I ran. Is that year before last? Yes, 2022. It’s all blending together now. It’s all the evens. Yes, I ran in [00:43:00] 2022, uh, for our local house seat, um, against the incumbent who was also a physician.

So I felt like, I don’t know, I felt like it was a more even ground, but, um, I was unsuccessful. It was a lot of learning though. I mean, I, I don’t regret the experience. I met a lot of people and got to have conversations with a lot of people that I wouldn’t have otherwise. 

Justin McElroy: Sydnee was really one of those politicians that you like wish would run where she really didn’t necessarily want to do it, but she wanted to.

She felt like it needed to be done. A public survey. 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: Yeah, exactly. I, I thought I would be good at the job. I knew I wasn’t good at getting it. I, like, I, I kept saying that like, I’m bad getting this job, but if I could get it, I would be good at doing it. And that is not. Nobody buys that sales pitch. 

Kristin: Yeah, right.

Well, do you have any advice then from what you learned on, like for other physicians who may feel the same way, you know, and I don’t think anybody becomes a doctor thinking I’m going to be a politician one day. But it has become [00:44:00] more and more important, I think, for physicians to have a voice in legislature.

So, have you learned anything that might be useful for people who, who are in your 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: shoes? Yeah, no, I think for sure. I mean, one, the, the more open I was to, um, listening to people I didn’t agree with, uh, that was something that I, I didn’t come into it. I mean, I think, especially as a physician, sometimes you get in this mindset, like, You’re in so many interactions where you know better, I guess, you’re, you’re supposed to be the one in the room telling somebody else like what to do or what the solution is or I’ve got the answer for you.

It’s sometimes hard to break out of that and be like, well, maybe I don’t. And especially when you’re hearing somebody who you really disagree with, to kind of keep that line of communication open and facilitate that is, was very challenging. I got better at it as time went on. Um, still some room to grow in, on the home front.

We all could. 

Justin McElroy: Just listening to people who you don’t agree with and just hearing them out and not always thinking that you’re like, And maybe live in your 

Kristin: house. 

Justin McElroy: [00:45:00] Changing your mind. 

Will: Well, I have a question, was Justin a benefit or a detriment to your efforts, your campaign 

Justin McElroy: efforts 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: here? Yeah, Sidney, go on.

He was a definite benefit. He was my, you were my campaign manager. 

Justin McElroy: Yeah, I did all the website, all the social media stuff, well, we had help with that, with the social media aspect of it. I was the campaign man. Guys! When I was in college, I once overdrafted a credit card buying a bag of Doritos, right? I got a charged 35 overdraft fee for a bag of Doritos.

Then Sydney put me in a job where if I mess it up bad enough, I will go to real prison, like real actual prison, if I do the money bad enough in this job. And Sydney’s like, I was 

Kristin: intentional. Yeah. I know. Yeah. Maybe she would like for you to 

Justin McElroy: take a little vacation. That is a, that is a long way around. That was 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: my plan.

Will: was there, was there any muck raking going on? Like I ’cause ’cause I feel like if I tried to run [00:46:00] for public office, yeah. They would go back into my tweets from like 2017 and, and like hold it against me. Like what? 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: Well, let, let me tell you, um, I had already, because, not because of politics, but because we, we have done a podcast for a very long time, it’s good to occasionally go back through your social media and just, uh, just check that out.

Um, cause we’re all growing and learning. Um, yes, no, the only, there was one piece. Of um, oh my God. It was great negative advertising that came out about me. ’cause I didn’t, I didn’t ever go negative on my opponent. Yeah. I just talked about me. Um, and I will say this didn’t come from my opponent, it came from a third party from like a pack

Justin McElroy: It was great. It was a picture of like Sydnee and Joe Biden on this flyer. And it’s like the McElroy Biden an agenda. Uhhuh . So there is a 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: piece of mail it’s delivered to our home. Yeah. Those delivered to our home about my radical. Socialist agenda that I had with Joe Biden. Um, [00:47:00] and like, it’s always 

Justin McElroy: hard to, Joe Biden’s nowhere near radical enough for me.

Y’all don’t even know that. I’m way, I’m way away. No, but I make this guy look like George 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: Will. It was great though, because everything on it, I’m like, I’m for all. Yes, this is me. Yeah, 

Justin McElroy: this is actually, I 100 percent support this attack ad. 

Will: Oh man, it was great. How, how, how close was it? Um, the election 

Justin McElroy: and it was, you know, 45, 55, something like that.

Yeah. I mean, it’s honestly like what you realize is that you don’t have any data. Like you have some data about how people have voted in the past, but. It’s not, it’s really hard to guess how people are, like, who’s going to come out, who’s all that stuff. So I don’t know. That, I felt like we, we, we worked really hard at it.

We tried 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: really hard. We knocked on some, we, we went really, like, boots to the ground. I knocked on so many doors personally, and then we had a team of volunteers that went out and knocked on doors with us. So like, I went to people’s houses and tried to talk to them as much as [00:48:00] possible. And I don’t know. I mean, I think if it were something I was going, I’m not going to run again.

It was a, it was an experience. I’m glad I did it. I think I’m good on that. Um, but I feel like we could have, knowing how to do it, maybe if we went at it a couple more times, maybe we could win, which I think is like the attitude you’re supposed to have. Yeah. I mean that was all the people who, who gave me advice, who had like been in that sphere and knew that, kept saying, you don’t expect to win the first time out if you do great, but you gotta do it again and again and you’re gonna build that reputation and then you’re gonna win.

And we just. I don’t think we had it in us as a family to keep doing that. Yeah. It’s a lot, 

Will: yeah. But I commend you for putting yourself out there like that, like that takes a lot of guts and we’ve talked about this on this show, like we need more people, more medical professionals. Not me, I’m not gonna run for now, I might, I don’t know, I mean, you know, we’re in Oregon, I think I might have a little bit better shot, uh, out here, but, you know, uh, we do need more professionals [00:49:00] running for office.


Justin McElroy: with your radical pro fluoride agenda, it’s hard to say. 

Will: I mean, that’s the, if I focus on that, like, let’s get the fluoride in the water, like, I feel like that could be my legacy, the fluoride, 

Justin McElroy: yeah. I’m a rare single issue candidate, and my one thing. It’s 

Will: fluoride. It’s gonna be fluoride, and then eliminating visine from the face of the earth.

Oh, yes. That’s, that’s gonna be Oh 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: man, you’re gonna get so much pushback on that. 

Will: Yep, all the, all the pot smoking teenagers, none of them are gonna vote for me. Well, you know, I think 

Kristin: it’s doing what it’s meant to for 

Will: them. Yeah, that’s true. I do have a caveat. That is the one, the one group of people that I’m like, okay, yeah, I get it.

That makes sense. If you need to, that’s fine. Just once or twice. That’s okay. All right, well before we wrap up, I do have, I, I, we’ve got to do this. This is a, a little game that we’ve devised, um, because you mentioned scrubbing, going back through your old social media, your old content. Well, well, we have, we’re going to do a limerick challenge here.

Okay. So this is blatantly ripped off from, uh, NPR. Um, uh, the wait, wait, wait, don’t tell me. Uh, so these are. [00:50:00] Limericks that are connected to the last season of your podcast. Oh my gosh. Okay. Yeah. 

Justin McElroy: And so I’ve never listened to our podcast, so I’m at a disadvantage. 

Will: The final word or phrase of each of these limericks has been left out.

So your goal is to complete the limerick correctly. Okay. Okay, we got three of these. Cause that’s, that’s the extent of our creativity. All right, so here we go. In the woods that I roam for a retreat. Lies a tale that’s both strange and bleak. Grilling was my game. A tick bite is to blame. Now I can no longer eat.

Justin McElroy: Meat. Meat. 

Will: Red meat. Yeah. Nicely done. 

Kristin: That’s good. And that’s talking about the Gal Alpha, right? That’s what it’s called? Alpha 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: Gal, that’s 

Will: it. Tell the people what Alpha 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: Gal is. Basically, you can get bitten by a tick and then develop an allergy to eating red meat after that. Which 

Justin McElroy: sounds like, [00:51:00] which sucks to hear as somebody who spends a lot of time trying to combat misinformation when you hear one that like, Sounds absolutely fake, 100%!

Right? My gut is way 

Will: off on that one. It does sound fake. Yeah. Is it an 

Kristin: enzyme? What is, what is alpha gal? 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: Uh, yeah. I think so. Like an, like an antibody reaction that basically, yeah, it’s cross reactive with one of the proteins in red meat, and so. Yeah. Okay. That’s 

Will: terrifying. It is. It is. All right. Here’s the next 

Justin McElroy: one.

Will thinks that’s terrifying. This is a guy that got cancer in both of his balls. Against modern medical. And then his heart stopped. And then his heart stopped. And he’s like, but no, keep the ticks away from me. I love red meat too much. That’s what really keeps me up at night. If 

Will: I get an allergy to red meat, I’m just walking off into the forest and you’re never going to see me 

Justin McElroy: again.

That’ll be one. That’s it. I’m done. I’m going to stop eating red meat. Nothing can kill me. I’m unstoppable. 

Will: That’d be it. Alright. There once was a man named Gene, with an infection [00:52:00] described as quite mean. It’s far from my ear. It’s over by your rear. This is a case of Fournier’s 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: gangrene. That’s right. Yes. I mean, it’s terrible.

I mean, it’s awful. 

Will: Yeah. All right. So tell them, give us a, give us the one liner on Fournier’s gangrene. 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: It’s uh, it’s gangrene primarily of the perineum. So I don’t know. Does every, would everybody listening know what a perineum is? Well, they 

Kristin: do after this episode. We’ve talked about it 

Will: so many times. I’m excited to hear you describe the Pyrenean 

Justin McElroy: Tay Tan button on my thing.

Tay Tanning. We’ve talked about it already. Is that a bad word? Well, I 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: don’t know. Can we say it? We can bleep it if we have to. That’s not 

Will: a bad word. It’s just, it’s a, it’s a, like a colloquial term for the Pyrenean. Much 

Justin McElroy: like the, the Gooch. No, don’t, it’s just, it’s a colloquial 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: term for something. Taint, taint, countersight, cause it’s, so it’s the area between the front and the back.

So it taint this and it taint that. So it, 

Will: yeah, exactly. Is that [00:53:00] where it 

Justin McElroy: comes from? Yeah, 

Will: that’s, yeah. And, and gang, so it’s, it’s gangrene, which is like developing. 

Kristin: No, I meant the word. I was, that was an etymological question, not a 

Justin McElroy: medical one. I think that’s what it’s, that’s how it came about. Around here it is, I don’t know.

Will: Sounds good. It’s, it’s, it’s, uh, it’s official. That’s what it is. So you get 

Kristin: gangrene right there. Have they tried sunning it to see if that would make it 

Will: go away? It wouldn’t hurt. By that point, once you have the gangrene, there’s, it’s, anyway, so it’s, it’s, yeah. Is that what you 

Kristin: were talking about with the video games?

You just had a rotting, 

Will: yeah. Yeah, exactly. A little forniase there. That’s why, yeah, you just gotta, you know, just pay attention to what’s going on down there. Just in general, you know. Yeah, check it out every once in a while. You want 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: to be aware, right? Well, that came from, there was that, one of the new diabetic medications that was warning that, like, also, this could be a complication.

And it’s like, what? Wait, what? You’d get, I’d get an infection where? And why? 

Kristin: Yeah. Right? Well, and can you imagine having your name attached to that? Yeah. [00:54:00] Like, that’s your life’s legacy. 

Will: Yeah. Uh, yeah, yeah, Dr. Fournier. Yeah, 

Justin McElroy: I think about that a lot while we’re doing our show. Like, you never quite know when history’s lens is looking at you.

Like, Max von Pettenkofer was a guy who, uh, wanted to research, 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: uh He wanted to prove that cholera was contagious. Wanted to prove that cholera 

Justin McElroy: was contagious. Oh yeah, 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: drank diarrhea. Drank diarrhea. 

Kristin: That is a dedication to science that I do not have. And that’s his 

Justin McElroy: moment though, right? Like when we write his name in the history books, like when we turn the lens of history to Max, like that, he probably thought it would have been many other things.

Certainly this isn’t what I’ll be known for. Bottoms up! You know, it’s like But 

Will: he shall never be forgotten That’s right, except I just heard about so I don’t know it’s up to you to make sure people are reminded of it You won’t forget 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: that now 

Justin McElroy: That’s right. And then he had to have cholera. Yeah All right 

Will: last one as a human this might be your [00:55:00] bane it’s nothing you want to contain a roundworm was found Alive and writhing around, a rare carpet python parasite in the 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: brain.

Brain! Yes! Yes! 

Will: Woohoo! It’s the brain. Not a, not a great place to get a parasite. No. That’s 

Kristin: Carpet python parasite. Like, none of that makes me want to 

Justin McElroy: hear about, Kristen. I’ll be honest. It was a bad 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: thing to hear about. Well, I had just, cause she got it from foraging near where a carpet python had pooped.

So, she foraged some greens, and there was carpet python poop and parasites on them, and that’s how she got it. And as somebody who had just, like, I had just strayed onto the foraging part of TikTok recently, and I was like, No, no, no, no, no! Oh, 

Kristin: boy. The 

Will: foraging part of, there’s a, there’s a part for everything.


Kristin: you, Justin, had to establish some boundaries in your household of, uh, you know, Especially during training, like medical textbooks, [00:56:00] uh, laying 

Justin McElroy: around. Well, I, here’s what I, uh, if I hear Sydney get a text message and then I hear her go, oh, and then I hear her say, come look at this. I’ll say, no, no, thank you.

I won’t be doing that. Thank you very much. Yeah. I won’t. Sounds about right. She’ll sometimes like just stealth do it. Just like out of nowhere. I’m like, whoa, you gotta, I gotta be on the Itchy trigger finger get ready to turn around. 

Kristin: I now know not to look through his photos Yeah, like so there have been times where I was like, hey Where’s that cute picture of the kids that you took and I’m like scrolling through and then I’m like, oh my god Yeah, there’s like some eyeball like an open glove or 

Will: something You know making talks gotta gotta Got to educate the people.

Yeah. I understand that. guys. You did great. That was, uh, you nailed those limericks. Well, Sydney did. I’m not sure what Justin was doing. I shouldn’t be congratulating you, Justin. That’s all right. 

Justin McElroy: You didn’t do anything. Hey, listen, I’m so used to drifting off my wife’s success. At this point, I barely know this anymore.

Will: Well, uh, tell us what, anything you want to plug, talk [00:57:00] about. Uh, what do you want the people to know? You can, uh, 

Justin McElroy: you can listen to our show called Sawbones. If you know how to find this podcast, you know how to find every podcast. So just find that podcast the the other one. Uh, we have the Sawbones book. Uh, we did a new edition in, a paperback edition in 2020, the late 2020 that has a lot of like pandemic updates and stuff like that.

Stuff about quarantine, things like that. 

Dr. Sydnee McElroy: And it’s all illustrated by my brother. Yeah. 

Justin McElroy: So that was, that was a cool, cool, uh, projecting by that. And then we have new episodes of Sawbones every Tuesday. Um, and we do, we don’t have any live shows on the books right now. Sometimes we’ll. We’ll tour out, but that’s, that’s the bulk of it.

I mean, that’s the main thing, and then 

Will: Um, and you’re on social media at the McElroy family. Yeah, 

Justin McElroy: we have the McElroy family, I’m not much on the individual 

Will: sites anymore. Probably a good thing. It’s, it’s, it’s a big time, you know, it’s a time investment. Absolutely. You got, you got a good thing going on. But I know a lot of our listeners, for a long time, they’ve been like, You gotta get sawbones on.

You gotta get sawbones on. Yeah. Coming on [00:58:00] here. And so, we’re so glad we were able to do this with you guys. So fun. Yeah. all. so much for coming.

Hey, Kristen. What’s up? Name something that’s like crusty and flaky. A 

Kristin: delicious croissant. 

Will: I appreciate your optimism. Yeah. Yeah. You know what I was thinking? What? Demodex blepharitis. That is 

Kristin: not as delicious. Do 

Will: you know what these little guys are? What? These are demodex mites. 

Kristin: Yeah, that’s not fun. They’re cute, though, aren’t they?

Will: Those ones are cute. If you have red, itchy, irritated eyelids, you might be surprised to find out that it’s a disease called demodex blepharitis caused by these little guys, demodex mites. Do you ever see those in your clinic? Yeah, occasionally. It’s not 

Kristin: uncommon. Are they that cute when you see them under the microscope?

Will: Not quite. All right, but you can make an appointment with your eye doctor and get an eyelid exam where they can help you know for sure if what you’re suffering from is demodex blepharitis. To find out more, go to EyelidCheck. com. Again, [00:59:00] that’s E Y E L I D Check. com to get more information about demodex blepharitis and these little guys, demodex mites.

Kristin: That was a lot of fun. They’re so fun. We have like a freaky amount of things in common. 

Will: Do you think we could do this for another 10 years. 10 years. Wow. It’s, it’s so, it’s really 

Kristin: impressive. It really is. I was just thinking, would anyone still be listening in 10 years? Like are we? I don’t know if we’re that interesting.

Will: It’s, uh, it’s, it’s really cool to see what they’ve built and a lot, a lot of you wanted to hear, uh, 

Kristin: from lots of emails and comments and things to have them on. So we were really excited 

Will: to be able to do that. What family members could we get to like be on podcasts with us? That 

Kristin: is the maybe the more impressive thing right like yeah, they must all not only do they work with their spouse But they work with their siblings their parents.

Yeah, that’s I don’t know how they do that We could 

Will: I think my mom yeah could [01:00:00] could do podcasting That’s the one that jumps out. I don’t know. She’s the only one. She’s just 

Kristin: very gregarious. Who likes to talk enough, right? We’re from very quiet families both of us except for your mother. 

Will: So that’s true.

But anyway That was that was great. So let’s let’s do a fan story. Should we? Yeah. All right. So here we go. This is from Mary She says, I am an NP and was introduced to your videos with the haircutting video early on in the pandemic. Wow. Wow. That’s a deep cut. Yeah. Yeah. So I, before I even started making like, I think the first video I ever made, like right when the pandemic happened, I couldn’t go get a haircut.

This was a live that you did. It was a, that’s right. It was a live. Yeah, you’re right, it was live. Yeah, it was on Twitter? It was on Twitter. Yeah. Like, it was like the rudimentary live Right, like back when that first started on Twitter. And I, we, um, me and 

Kristin: the kids. Couldn’t get a 

Will: haircut, it was getting out of hand.

Uh, cut my hair. Yep. Using a beard 

Kristin: trimmer. A beard trimmer, that’s right. We didn’t have any [01:01:00] actual hair clippers. Did not 

Will: have the right equipment. Nope. So, but anyway. It wasn’t a great haircut. It was bad. That’s okay. It’s, it’s, it’s grown back since. That was the first time, uh, Mary says, that was the first time I think I laughed during the most awful, stressful time.

Oh, that’s nice. Um, and have been following since. I was wondering, I was someone wondering where you were when you had your cardiac arrest. Oh, like 

Kristin: you got quiet on Twitter, and so during those few days, and so she was wondering Was blown 

Will: away by the story. Listening today, I had to take several breaks listening to your story from Kristen and the paramedics point of view.

Yeah, we’ve. And then our Lieutenant Greg episode. That’s right. I found myself crying at the horror of what happens daily in our world and of this most personal story. I couldn’t imagine me and Kristen doing CPR on her husband and seeing those awful colors that people turn when they’re coding. Yes.

Saying I’m glad everything turned out well sounds trite, but know that I am sincere and beyond relieved at this outcome. Thank you for sharing this story on the podcast and all the speaking you do. [01:02:00] You will always have me as a fan. Oh, well, thank you, Mary. That is so nice. Thank you, Mary. Uh, it’s, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s all this one right here.

She’s, she’s, um, incredible. So, uh, once again, thank you for saving my life. Oh, 

Kristin: well, you’re welcome. You’ll be paying me back until the day you die for real. 

Will: Send us your notes, stories, whatever you want to send us at knockknockhigh at human content. com. Thank you everybody for listening and let us know if you have any, uh, recommendations for guests that you’d like to come on.

It’s like, we’d love to hear all the feedback, telling all the. Hundreds of people saying get sawbones on. Yes. We listen to you guys. We do. We hope 

Kristin: it lived up to your expectations I hope people like the limericks. The limericks are fun. Yeah, those are fun. You like limericks. Like where does that come from?

My Irish background. I guess so. Of course. I mean, it’s not that I don’t it’s just the amount of enthusiasm that you have for limericks It’s 

Will: notable. That’s right. Well, you give us your feedback. You can email us knock, knock, hi at human dash content. com. You can visit us on all the social media platforms, hang out with us and the human [01:03:00] content podcast family on Instagram at human content odds.

I guess that’s a family we make content with, right? Oh, sure. Right. Yeah. Uh, thanks to all the listeners leaving wonderful feedback and reviews. We love those reviews. If you subscribe and comment on your favorite podcasting app or on YouTube and give you a shout out like at selkies are people too. On Apple said.

Now that’s a stance. , the Glock and Fluence are such an inspiration and have brought me and my coworkers so much joy. Shout out to the YouTube series as well as an ex Jonathan who is considering going into medicine but is simultaneously disgusted by the depravity of the US health system in quotation marks.

It is so great to hear your shows and know that some doctors are fed up as well and brave enough to talk about it. Yes, we are all fed up. The guests on the show have been awesome. Big, uh, fan of the game segments, too. Yeah, we, uh, we got away from those for a few weeks. I think we’re back. Yeah. We’re back.

We, we try. We try to fit in the game with all the episodes if we can. Also, I just listened to the Cardiac Arrest episode, and LadyGlockaPlankton is an absolute legend [01:04:00] for doing chest compressions for ten minutes straight. Definitely. Keep doing what you’re doing, guys. Love from the East Coast. Also, Dr. G, did you, did, when you died, did you see anything?

I do get asked that question a lot. You do, yeah. I did not. I just went to bed and I woke up in the hospital. Did you know I had no out of body experience. I was not, uh, seeing myself from above or below. 

Kristin: I kind of was, though, which I think is interesting. I had kind of an out of body experience. We’ll have 

Will: to unpack that a different episode.

Um, but 

Kristin: no, I did you know there’s some research now, I think, a paper came out, that, um, Okay, don’t quote me on this, please go look it up for the real information, but, Um, some people, when they have a cardiac arrest, they do have a memory for, like, Oh. A little bit. Oh yeah. At the beginning. 

Will: Yeah, I’ve talked to, we’ve talked to people.

Yeah, but 

Kristin: like now there’s like some research happening about like, what, what is it that’s going on there biologically? And yeah, apparently it’s [01:05:00] a thing. But you were asleep anyway, like when it happened. 

Will: Yeah, that’s right. So I was, yeah, that’s the thing. I think, you know, because I was already sleeping, you know, I wasn’t dreaming or anything.

Um, let’s see, full video episodes are up, uh, every week on YouTube at DeGlockamFleckin. We also have a Patreon. Lots of cool perks, bonus episodes, where we react to medical shows and movies. You’re gonna come hang out with us and other members of the community. Early ad free episode access, interactive Q& A, live stream events, and much more.

Patreon. com Slash Glockenflecken. Or go to Glockenflecken. com. Speaking of Patreon, community perks. New member shoutout, Angel Vila. Villa. Angel Ville. I don’t know how to say that name. Tell you what, Angel Villa? Would you say Angel Villa? I 

Kristin: don’t know. I’ve never seen this one before. It’s very unique. 

Will: We’re gonna, we’re gonna find out how to pronounce you.

We’re gonna, we’re gonna, uh, let us know. Please. We, we, I, I, cause we’re gonna be saying your name periodically. I don’t want to get it wrong. [01:06:00] So. Yeah. So let’s help us out a little bit. Uh, so we’ll, we’ll go with AngelVilla. I’m sorry if we got that wrong. A shout out to all the Jonathans, as always. Patrick, Lucia C, Sharon S, Omar, Edward K, Steven G, Jonathan F, Marion W, Mr.

Grandetti, Caitlin C, Brianna L, KL, Keith G, JJ H, Derek N, Mary H, Susannah F, Mohamed K, Aviga, Parker, Ryan, Medical Meg, Bubbly, Salt, and Pink Macho! A virtual head nod to you all. Patreon roulette, random shoutout to someone on the emergency medicine tier, Tracy P. Thank you for being a patron. Thanks, Tracy. And thank you all for listening.

We’re your hosts, Will and Kristen Flanner, also known as The Glockenflecken. Special thanks to our guests, Dr. Sidney and Justin McElroy. Our executive producers are Will Flanner Rob Goldman, and Shahnti Brooke. Our editor and engineer is Jason Portizzo. Our music is by Omer Ben Zvi. To learn about our Night Night Heist program, Disclaimer, no ethics, policy, submission of merchandise, license, and terms.

They have a release terms, go to Glockenflicker. com or reach out to us at knockknockhigh at human content. com with any questions, concerns, or limericks. I want to hear all the [01:07:00] limericks. 

Kristin: You know, you do that as though you’re like an auctioneer. I think maybe next time you should try doing it as like you’re, you’re like a soothing, No.

Will: Meditative. No, I want, I want to be, to be abrasive. You want 

Kristin: it to be done as quickly as possible. And 

Will: angry. Knock Knock High is a human content production. 

Justin McElroy: Goodbye.

Will: Hey Kristen. What? You know what people ask me about? How tall you are. Uh, no, sometimes, but no, they asked me about Jonathan. Yes. I have heard 

Kristin: people ask you about that. 

Will: Everybody wants a Jonathan. Like, is Jonathan real? Can I have your Jonathan? I’m like, no, you can’t have my Jonathan. But you know what they can’t have?

What’s that? DAX Copilot. 

Kristin: Ah, yes. And that is basically a Jonathan. It 

Will: is. It’s like having a little Jonathan there. It’s, it’s, uh, uh, an AI powered ambient technology. It sits in the room with you and it helps create that clinical [01:08:00] documentation while also allowing you. to create a patient physician relationship that we all got into medicine to, to have.

We all want that. 

Kristin: That’s right. Nobody got in to start writing 

Will: notes. That’s right. And it is right now everyone feels overwhelmed and burdened by all this clinical documentation, uh, to where work life balance, it just seems unattainable. So to learn more about the Nuance Dragon Ambient Experience or DAX Copilot, visit nuance.

com slash discover DAX. That’s N U A N C E dot com slash discover D A X.