One of our doctors made a very serious mistake this week. With any luck I'm wrong, but I think he'll be paying hell for this for a long time. It's too bad, because he's a great doc and a really good guy, but he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
He was in an exam room performing a pelvic exam on a woman in her thirties. As usual with pelvic exams, there was a female nurse in the room with him to provide legal recourse if he was accused of any impropriety. The standard thing for the doc to say, right before they start the exam, is "Okay, you're going to feel my hand on your leg". This eliminates the element of surprise for the patient, and prepares them for the exam.
What he meant to say and what he actually said were, unfortunately, two different things. He said "Okay, you're going to feel my thigh on your leg". When the nurse cracked up (with the patient right behind her) our cute young thang doc still didn't realize what he had said until the nurse, with delicious glee, repeated it word for word. He turned shades of red not even identified yet, finished the exam as fast as possible, and fled the room. Everyone in the unit had heard about it within a day.
Enter another one of our docs - the department prankster. He and one of the nursed fiddled with cute young thang's pager system and, kindly, let everyone else in on what they had done. By the time our poor, tongue twisted guy came on duty we were all clustered in his area trying to look like we were busily working. When he logged on to the voice activated system, it played his outgoing message that would greet anyone who called him. A breathy female voice, channeling every bad porn star ever said:
"Well, hey there, it's your thigh master".
The look on his face as this reverberated through the room was definitely worth the wait. And everything you've read really is true. You absolutely can't afford to make a single mistake in emergency medicine. Because there are people out there who will crucify you for it.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Posted by the rotten correspondent at 12:02 AM