Syndicated columnist Dave Barry kept everyone in stitches at a medical conference with his lecture topic: "Medical Care: Is It Really Necessary?"

The Miami Herald humor columnist opined that it is not. In his address to the 26th annual Physician Assistants Conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Barry was particularly tough on tetanus shots, which he claimed to have received almost daily since the age of 9.Long spells in the waiting room also provoked Barry's ire.

"If you have to wait more than 30 minutes, you should have the right to give the doctor a shot," he said.

Barry's comments on managed care drew the biggest laugh from the 4,000 doctors' assistants: "Managed care means they don't necessarily take the hatchet out of your head. They may just get you a bigger hat."