Bastards are gonna bastard


That was a lovely case.

Not a lovely surgeon.

I was awakened at 0230 and the nursing supervisor asked me to please call a surgeon, because he had a case.

Let us call him Dr. W.

I called him immediately.

He told me that there was a patient who had a certain medical condition and needed to go to the OR first thing in the morning.

Me: There are no first time starts available as the OR is booked. The earliest time will be 1000.

Dr. W: His condition is such that he can not go later. He will have to go emergently.

Me, looking at the clock on the computer, which was 0240: Okay, we will try for 0345.

Dr. W: Okay.

Me, not ever having worked with this surgeon: Are you familiar with our hospital? Will you need help getting scrubs.

Dr. W: No, I’ve been there on call.

Me: Okay. We will see you then.

I then call the nursing supervisor and give her the details, and ask her to call the rest of the team. She asks if x-ray is needed. I said yes.

I get dressed and drive to the hospital and clock in.

Immediately after changing I turn on the bed so it can be warmed up, go to the front desk and schedule the case and arrange for transport.

I confer with the scrub tech and go to the PACU to await the patient’s arrival.

I pull consents and log into the computer.

I am at the computer, beginning the charting, when the double doors to the PACU open.

I turn my head, believing that it is the patient.

It is the surgeon.

Me: Oh, I thought you were the patient. He is on his way.

Dr. W: What?

Me: I thought you were the patient. He is on his way.

Dr. W: I do not care for your tone. You have been nothing but belligerent on the phone. I am sorry that this patient is need of surgery at this hour. This is my seventh case today, in three different hospitals.

Me, taken aback by this aggressive turn in the conversation: Okay. The patient is on his way.

Dr. W.: I know that you would rather be at home in bed.

At no time have I said this, or conveyed this.

He turns to go.

Me, thinking that he could fill out and sign the consent before he began the H&P: Will you sign the consent?

Dr. W.: I know you don’t want to be here, the patient needs surgery.

He stalks off.

Me, sitting at the computer desk, my mouth surely open under my mask, unsure of what just transpired. I say nothing further.

Transport still has not come.

I get up and go to the ED to pick up the patient.

I prep the patient.

We are in the room at 0350, 5 minutes late.

The entire case was surreal.

Dr. W. is a completely different person in the room. Friendly, open.

I get that he was projecting. He didn’t want to do this case, even if it was emergent. He wanted to be home in bed.

I was just caught off guard with the personal attacks when they were not warranted.

I didn’t even give him my spiel that I give to all the new doctors about the operating room hours and the phone numbers of the desk and the charge pager.

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