Welcome back to Up to Snuff, ho.

This week we’re asking our writers for their “best of the fall season so far” picks. Anything currently airing is eligible, though the series on top has been calling that spot home for most of the past four months.

“Ask the Writers” returns this week with a question I was hoping hadn’t occurred to most of them (and I think I was right). While the answer seems obvious to me, clearly not everyone sees it that way…


Weekly Staff Poll

Vinland Saga – 15 points, 3 first place votes
Hoshiai no Sora – 8, 1
Ore wo Suki na no wa Omae Dake ka yo – 7, 1
Beastars – 6
Hi Score Girl II – 5


Ask The Writers

You’re on a long-haul flight and have an unspecified medical emergency. There are no doctors on-board. However, there are two people who offer to help you – a dentist and a veterinarian. Whose help do you choose to accept and why?

  • Guardian Enzo: Vets work mostly on mammals. Humans are mammals. They’re trained on how to do basic surgery. They’re used to hysterical patients. Dentists are fine, but they’re tunnel-visioned when it comes to training. In a pinch, I’m putting my bet on Dr. Herriott.
  • Stilts: Veterinarian, because at least they wouldn’t try to make me talk while they’ve got their hands in my guts.
  • Zaiden: If it’s unspecified, I’d take the dentist, on the off-chance that it’s a mouth related medical emergency. The vet probably offers next to nothing. And in my view, something is better than nothing.
  • Choya: I’ll have to go with the vet because they’ll at least have better bedside manner.
  • Pancakes: The only choice is a vet, because if I’m asking for dental care on a flight I clearly had one too many Caesars back at the Marriott (also something something know exactly how vets and dentists differ in terms of training :P).
  • Passerby: Unspecified medical emergencies kill more people a year than landsharks and dropbears combined. That said, one works more with anaesthesia. One works more with euthanasia. I’ll go with the dentist. At least they’ll have my dental records when the plane goes down in the unspecified flight emergency in the next Up To Snuff question.


  1. Why choose; can’t both assist each other in helping?
    They’re both trained in medicine. But if there was a
    hard choice, a dentist only because they have more
    training with humans.

    Odd question — did something like this happen to one
    of the writers :)?

  2. The aim in an in-flight emergency is not so much to treat the patient but to stabilise them so they can survive until the plane is able to land somewhere with proper medical facilities. Given that a dentist will have had training in human life support skills (in case anyone pegs out in the chair!) I’d go with them. It’s a moot point anyway, though, because a veterinarian is not licensed to treat humans so it’s the dentist by law.

    1. Funny thing that the most qualified to laymen know how they’re not qualified by law. Neither would realistically actually offer to help– depending on where they’re from.

      That said, by fiat that occurs, so this situation for me is a why not both situation if they actually were both available. . . and honestly it isn’t that much of an emergency if I even have the option to choose. Numbers game, I’d also bet on the air flight crew being trained on first aid. If the situation is dire, they’ll divert the plane and there won’t be any time for choice either. Air crew will handle it.

      Most immediate emergencies: Not going to be able to choose. Breathing, seizures, (loss of) consciousness issues.

      Smaller emergencies: bleeding / headache / symptoms of infection

      The most they can do is pull out an in flight first aid kit and do some bandages.

      Worst case scenario would involve being midway into an international flight. . . language barrier wouldn’t hurt because loss of consciousness / ability to speak from injury/condition anyway.

      An airplane is completely unequipped to deal with real emergency injury. Their job is as stated befire, first aid to keep patient alive sufficiently until real emergency services come to stablize and deliver to better care and proper hospital treatment.

  3. In the country I’m currently in, dentist. Because most of the vets are the ones that didn’t get accepted by a medical school. Some of them are competent and love animals, but better safe than sorry.

  4. @unspecified medical emergency.
    @Whose help do you choose to accept and why?

    And that’s the problem with the question. Both are uniquely qualified to render some sort of assistence but depending on the problem, one or both may be entirely useless.

    A veternarian with surgical experience may for example be able to remove someones burst appendix in an emergency situation. But would someone in such a situation even want to be cut open? Would they just do it old school and have the patient down their body weight in alchohol to dull the pain? In the old days before pain meds and sedation they have done this lol.

    1. But yeah I say the Veternarian is best if someone needs some sort of emergency surgery. Many have experience operating on a wide range of mammals. They’re not idiots and would have an understanding of how things work for humans too.

      1. @Zaiden
        You’d be surprised how similar animals can be to humans. Pigs for example are the closest to humans in terms of organ layout, and for specific tissues (e.g. cardiac vasculature) are even used for direct transplant into human beings. Unless dealing with a specific otolaryngoligical or cranial nervous issue the vet is more likely to have better familiarity with the system in question than the base dentist, especially in matters of surgery.

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