Sore Throats and Spicy Pizzas

Medicine has a learning curve. Some people just take longer to catch on.

My very first rotation of my third year of medical school was family medicine. At this point, we’re probably the smartest that we will ever be in regards to biochemical processes that cause any disease to happen or any medication to work, because we have just taken Step 1….or, in other words, the worst exam anyone ever has to take in his or her life. Step 1 is easily 100 times worse than the MCAT, which is the exam you have to take to apply to medical school.

However, though we are the smartest book-wise at this moment, we have never seen a real patient before in our lives (I’m not counting any of the standardized patients who teach us how to do physical exams)…and have not, in many cases, performed a variety of medical procedures.

Which is what led to the incident in question.

As I said, I was on my family medicine rotation at a small town and was there with one of my classmates. Now, this classmate (who will be featured in a later post) could be described as quite eager but also quite awkward. And that might be the biggest understatement of this particular post.

Anyway, my classmate on this particular day came running into the clinic room to excitedly announce that his patient had a sore throat and needed a strep test. And, since this clinic was quite busy (all 4 physicians there had 2 patients booked every 15 minutes…they had 2 coworkers out on medical leave and thus were having to pick up all of their patients), and since I had performed multiple strep tests at this point, they sent me in with my classmate to provide instructions.

Now, many of us have had a strep test before. but for those of you that haven’t, what essentially happens is that one needs to swab the back of one’s throat with an elongated q-tip and stick it in a liquid that shows quickly if a patient does or does not have strep throat.

I walked into the exam room as my classmate was approaching the patient…but not with the correct swab.

I saw the patient’s eyes begin bugging out, so I quickly stepped over, grabbed the correct swab, and said, “I think that we can use a smaller swab than that, don’t you?”

What kind of swab had he grabbed, you ask? A huge swab (think of a giant cotton ball at the end of a long q-tip) that is only supposed to be used when doing a pelvic exam to clean off the cervix.

That woman had no idea how close she came to a REALLY unpleasant experience.

Kill the Sickness Spicy BBQ Chicken Pizza

the spice will kill whatever ails you


  • Pizza dough for 1 pizza (I normally use the Cuisinart recipe since that’s what I have, but any uncooked pizza dough from the store will do)- make sure you leave this on the counter for 20-30 minutes to come to room temperature.
  • 1 c spicy pulled chicken (or see note below)
  • Olive oil spray
  • 2 tbsp light ranch dressing
  • 2 tbsp barbeque sauce
  • 1 c 2% shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tbsp parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray pizza pan with olive oil. Take pizza dough and spread out on pan. If the dough doesn’t appear to be stretching, let it rest for a few minutes, then try again.
  3. Spread ranch dressing and barbeque sauce onto the pizza dough. Top with cheddar cheese, then the pulled chicken and bell pepper. Sprinkle with garlic salt.
  4. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until crust is crispy. Remove from oven and sprinkle with parsley. Cut into slices and serve. If desired, top with a bit of cole slaw.

Note: If you don’t have any spicy pulled chicken on hand, make a quick version- mix together 1/8 c sriracha and 1/8 c barbeque sauce and stir in 1 c shredded chicken. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can get into the chicken.


45 thoughts on “Sore Throats and Spicy Pizzas

  1. I made something similar the other day! My housemate gave me the side eye for putting chicken on my pizza because she’s Italian..but it tasted awesome..I may make this one tonight or tomorrow..if I do I’ll post the link here!
    Thanks for another awesome recipe!

  2. I made something like this the other day! However my housemate was giving me the side eye for putting chicken on my pizza because she is Italian but it tasted awesome!
    I’m going to give this a try today or tomorrow..and post my results 🙂
    Thanks for another awesome recipe 😛

  3. I’m so glad you found my blog – what you have going here is fabulous ! If it makes you feel any better about a minor slip up, I always appreciate med students at appointments because, like you said, everything is still fresh in their brains….

  4. Wow, I can’t believe how close that unlucky lady came close to having something so uncomfortable done to her. Ouch! Funny how this post shows up on my email with a title of “Soar Throats” & “Spicy Pizza”. And I with a a soar throat and not so happy with a low immune system. haha, oh the irony.
    But I love your posts and always find them to be awesome reading. But wow, seems like your classmate was a little too eager to get started since her apparently went for the wrong cotton swab.

  5. This pizza looks delicious! And your story was delicious too 😉 I love that you can find the humour in (potentially) uncomfortable situations!

  6. i love reading blogs from fellow medical students! we’re all suffering through pretty much the same things and it’s so hard for other people to understand lol i also love recipes so perfect combo!

  7. Well med students are nothing if not eager when we first start dealing with real patients. Good thing you were there. 🙂

    (I’ve been following your blog for a while now, and finally got around to commenting. Great job mixing yummy recipes with quirky anecdotes! 🙂

  8. When I was a kid the doctor went to do that to me. I told him it was going to make me throw up. My mom said she could tell I wasn’t kidding and warned the doctor. The doctor assured her I was fine and that’s what everyone says. Moments later, he was cleaning up puke off his shoes and pants.

  9. Hi, enjoyed crusin’ through some of your posts and was delighted with the humor at life in general. That is the best way to view it and it makes for happier days. Like your recipes too. I know I will be back to visit again…It was very refreshing! 🙂 Jan

  10. Hi there! This is the first time I have got down to posting a comment on your blog, but do want you to know that I am a regular follower and love the way you pull together stories and yummy recipes.

    And also, I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. Do stop by my blog to pick it up!

  11. I honestly think that spice and vinegar kill everything. Spicy food also helps headaches and muscle aches, at least IMO – though it might be the power of suggestion 😉

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