Monday, April 23, 2012

Doctor Watch

I respectfully disagree...

A couple of weeks ago I was on call on a Sunday, with one of my attendings in charge.

He was an hour late for the nighttime rounds and I was in the ER with a patient that HE had asked to come back and the patient REQUESTED she was admitted to the hospital that night.

She was perfectly healthy.

So I had to call him up and let him know.

ring ring- no answer.

I try again.

Again, no answer.

I proceed with the admission quite irritated...

Then I call up the surgeons' office, where my friend was sitting waiting for me to keep me company for a while and I ask if he had shown up. Naively I thought he might have been on his way to the hospital...

No, he hadn't.

I call up the nurses station up in the ward- "Did he happen to walk by?"

No, he hadn't.

I start to worry.

You see I knew that he was a recovering alcoholic- and worryingly enough he had a history of a car accident while DUI only 6 months ago and he was supposedly clean for about 3 months.. and sadly enough- "clean" meant that he hadn't showed up faint from booze.

I call up the office again- my friend's voice calm and steady.

"Hi Ellisa..."

"Hey.. Is he there?"

"Yes. He is here."

"Ok- let me talk to him"

"Okay. Do you want to talk to him on the phone? Or do you want him to come down to the ER?"


I realize my fears are true.


*long pause*

Someone picks up the phone silently. I speak first.

"Hi? Sir?"



oh my dear god

"uh.. hi sir, the girl from this morning is back, I am admitting her in, which antibiotics do you want?"


"Yeah admit in"

communication NOT established

"Ok.. thank you"

"admit her in and we'll see"

DEFINITELY not established

"ok.. bye"

txt from friend reading "he's hammered"

I txt back "I got it"

I shoo the patient away from the ER and up to the ward and I try to gather my paperwork as fast as possible-

I had to leave the ER before he came down- before anybody saw him and realised-



he shows up at the door- bumps at the curve- and trips towards the desk.

I pop up and let him sit at my seat

"It's okay. I admitted her. She's ok. Everything's alright." *please oh please leave*

He breaths deeply, stares blank and with great difficulty speaking he says:

"right... right... schedule her for surgery tomorrow"

WTF WHAT??????

"yes sir"

the hell I will!

"i think i can go home now"

"Yes sir.. do go home...."


He swooshes up- turns to me and says:

"No Problem!!!"

"yes sir"


and as he leaves he staggers against the wall and nearly misses the stand with the N/S and Ringers' all so neatly stacked...

I follow him discreetly at a safe distance just to make sure he leaves safe without falling on his head.

If you have survived ANY night on call, you'll know what it feels like to be... on your own.

I didn't bother calling him again that night...

...and he didn't bother coming in the next day.


The Angry Medic said...

Ohmaigawd. This is an AMAZING story. I can't believe he did that. If it had been me I'd have been too terrified and busy kissing the boss's ass to go against his will, which means that Ms Worst-Luck-In-The-World would have had surgery for absolutely nothing. Hoo boy.

In other words, YOU SHOULD KEEP BLOGGING. If you do, I'll give you a shout-out on my blog, especially since you have such an epic story to tell. Come back!

Omar Baig said...

Dear Ms Ellisa,

The team at Premed Network has recently come across your blog.

I’m the President of Premed Network, a nationwide network of premed students.

The vision of Premed Network is to create a platform for the next generation of physicians.

We are reaching out to select medical student bloggers to share their posts in our community.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Omar Baig
President, Premed Network
16180 Alum Rock Avenue
San Jose, CA 95127
(408) 802-5267