Sawbones 1: Trepanation


Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin (that's us!) are thrilled to welcome you to Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine. Every Friday, we'll be digging through the annals of medical history to uncover all the odd, weird, wrong, dumb and just gross ways we've tried to fix people over the years. Educational? You bet! Fun? We hope!

This week, we're starting off with a hole right in your noggin: Trepanation. Won't you join us? We hope you will.

You can subscribe to their show right now on iTunes! Then tweet with the #Sawbones hashtag and tell all your friends (and loved ones). You can also follow the show on Twitter (@SawbonesShow).

Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers

Transcript available here



I am a nurse in a hospital, I ended up getting an admission who had a history of a Chiari Malformation and she had undergone a craniotomy during the repair and had a portion of her skull in her abdomen for a while. She recognized one of my fellow nurses from that admission though the nurse couldn't immediately place her. The patient's explanation? "Sure you know me! I just have my skull back now!" and pointed to her head. That jogged the nurse's memory.

Best interaction I have been party to in the recent past.


Hey guys! Just started listening to the podcast from the start and I love it! I just wanted to correct the good doctor on one bit of info from this episode. You explained that human skulls are not fused at birth to allow for growth of the brain but I believe the real reason is to allow the head to elongate and pass through the birth canal safely. Even after the skull is fused the brain cavity grows larger, so that's not the reason.

A welcome addition!

I am REALLY excited about this podcast! As both a medical historian and a longtime max-funster, I can't wait to bring Dr. Syd along on my 3-hour daily commute. The future is bright, and the past is brighter!


Great podcast. I'm actually starting my career in healthcare and I'm super interested in medical history. Looking forward to more episodes

this is dope

i still have the satdish bookmarked because i refuse to turn that light off in my life

god bless

Love it. A++ will definitely

Love it. A++ will definitely listen again.


Great new show guys. Can't wait for more episodes. Somewhat reminded me of drunk history actually haha. But more coherent.


This show is awesome! History plus medicine equals smart fun!!