Reality Bites: Rattlesnake Envenomation, an Evolutionary Perspective

I’m a medical doctor (MD). When I was a 3rd year internal medicine resident (1988) I researched the treatment of Rattlesnake envenomation for a presentation that was a contest between all the senior internal medicine residents in the state of Arizona. I won the competition, really pissing off the UofA residency program, because they almost always won.

I think one of the reasons I won was that I opened with a joke to catch everyone’s attention. I showed a 1 minute video from the Woody Allen movie Bananas. It showed a bunch of rebels in some central American country learning that to treat a snake bite, you must suck out the venom. The next scene is of a very well endowed female rebel running through the camp holding her bare breast, screaming: “Help, Help, I’ve Been bitten by a snake” Anyway, I got to go to Washington for the national competition.

Here is an article I wrote for Reptile & Amphibian Hobbyist Magazine on Rattlesnake bite treatment. Remember this was 2001, Things have changed a bit.