This particular joke came from a friend of mine; her aunt is an doctor, and apparently likes to keep her job lighthearted by supplying a surplus of medical jokes to friends and family. This specific joke is, according to my informant, one of the better ones. “It gets a little old, all the jokes,” she says. “I like this one, though, because it’s different than all the others, and you wouldn’t expect the punchline. I think I was around sixteen when I first heard this joke, and she’s told it a lot since then.”
Doctor: Well, I have good news and bad news.
Patient: Can I hear the good news first?
Doctor: You have 24 hours to live.
Patient: What?! Then what could be the bad news?
Doctor: I forgot to call you yesterday.
Coming from a doctor, this joke seems rather flippant; however, it is undoubtedly a funny joke. I think that occupational jokes such as this one provide a relief from the stress of being involved in a field like medicine. The joke is entertaining but definitely makes light of what would be a very difficult situation; it plays on the fears of both the patient and the doctor.