I promised myself that when I got to be a doctor, a real, live MD, I would get myself a proper black bag, and stock it up, so as to be useful in emergencies away from the hospital.

I now discover that I still don’t know much that I would rate as “useful in emergencies,” at least not outside of the hospital, away from all our supplies. Even my ambition doesn’t stretch to including an ambu-bag or an oxygen tank in my black bag.

So what would be 1) useful to me, 2) not too cumbersome, and 3) not too difficult to obtain legally? (In the adventure stories, morphine out of the first-aid kit always comes in handy when someone’s broken their leg falling off the cliff, or been shot by the villain; but I have a feeling the DEA¬†would not look kindly on me attempting to stash vials of morphine – let alone dilaudid – in a black bag. Besides, that might make life too interesting, if the wrong characters found out I had it.)

- Albuterol. That should be useful for either asthma or COPD, and could – conceivably, imaginably – be handy if we were in a remote area when a crisis occurred.
- Bandages. Lots of bandages: rolls of white gauze, and also ACE wraps. Useful for all kinds of wounds and sprains, and not too heavy to carry, or too expensive to stock up on.
- Tape, to fasten bandages. And maybe some duct tape, too, because it will fix whatever the bandages don’t.
- Vicodin. Maybe the DEA would approve of just a few of those?
- Stethoscope, of course, whenever I’m not actually wearing it (and hopefully those occasions will become fewer; surgeons stick stethoscopes in their pocket, because if they can’t hear the heart murmur from the door, it’s not interesting).
- A flashlight, both for practical purposes, when lost in the dark, and for assessing pupils.
- Reflex hammer, because it’s small, and I don’t want it in my pocket, and if I put the heavy metal one there, it might come in useful for hitting a bad guy with.
- Technically, a gun would be even more useful for such purposes, but even my affection for the Second Amendment admits that a doctor’s bag is not the correct place for a pistol.
- Tylenol and Motrin. There, the DEA can’t object to those, and they’ll work for a lot of things.
- Sudafed, because whenever you don’t have it, you’ll need it.
- Gloves, just in case.
- Some packets of nylon and vicryl suture, and a needle-driver, if I can find one lying around. For sewing things up in remote locations, or perhaps for controlling [peripheral] arterial bleeding.

I can’t think of anything else with a high use-for-weight ratio, except maybe phenergan. Any other suggestions, folks?