I got onto flight #610 from Atlanta to Dallas the other day and was greeted by a flight attendant in first class. His name was Jesus.
Not the “hey-sus” pronunciation. His was the original “Je-sus” pronunciation. Jesus was a young affable Caucasian dude who was the flight attendant assigned to my cabin. He simply said, “That’s my name and you can imagine how it’s gone for the past 25 years.”
Yes I could imagine the range of comments and cracks he must’ve received in high school, college and airline boot camp. The whole flight, I did all I could to engage him. “Yes Jesus”. “Thank you Jesus”. “Jesus can I have some more peanuts”. I even threw in an “Amen Jesus” and made a comment about the Hail Mary that was not well received.
This has to be the world's best first name. Think about it, there isn’t a father out there who would forbid his daughter from dating a boy named Jesus. Father wouldn't dare yell if Jesus brought her home after curfew. And, no policeman is going to give Jesus a ticket for speeding.
Imagine if Jesus was a doctor. There wouldn’t be any second guessing, adherence would skyrocket, and I’m sure side effect rates would decline. After all, Jesus wouldn’t prescribe a biologic that would hurt me, right? I think. Dr. Jesus would do very well for himself.
I can't come up with a name that competes with Jesus, at least as far as implicit trust, acceptance, loyalty, etc. On the other hand there are those curious or humorous physician names that just shouldn’t be; or that come with built-in regrets. Sorry, I don’t mean to offend any of my brethren, but names like Dr. Payne, Dr. Slaughter and Dr. Moneymaker are not off to a good start with their patients. Inevitably, they will get that speeding ticket, even if they have MD license plates.
But it’s not just people names; drug names are equally interesting in their likability ratings. Prior to approval, drugs have generic names that few can spell and most cannot pronounce. Names like idarucizumab and ixekizumab are problematic. No one doubts the veracity or complexity of my fictional biologic, dopeyumemab.
When a new drug is approved and headed for launch, the pharmaceutical company will spend tons of dollars on marketing research and a drug name that is memorable and has a positive vibe about it. “Vioxx” was a great name, until it was dragged through the mud by the FDA, lawyers, plaintiffs and cardiologists.
And what’s up with biosimilar naming? These have to be modified from the original generic name, and now have a wheels-off suffix stuck on the end. For example:
- Erelzi (is etanercept-szzs)
- Inflectra (is infliximab-dyyb)
- Amjevita (is adalimumab-atto)
Since we are on biosimilars, what kind of emotion, feeling or confidence do these crazy new biosimilar names evoke?
In my opinion “Erelzi” is odd to pronounce, plus I thought it might be what you would call a wrongful left turn in New Jersey. “Amjevita” sounds like a vegetarian spread for the gluten-free. And “Inflectra” sounds like the go-to, transformer toy of the holiday season. (Now you know why I am not invited to do marketing surveys or focus groups anymore.)
My name, “Cush” may be simple, but it’s a potential time bomb for patients and mispronouncers. I’ve been called Doctor many times; but I’ve also been called Dr. Crush, Lush, Gush, Tush, Crash, and Cash.
Maybe this is why I’m so impressed with the name Jesus.