Saturday, September 28, 2013
Are You Listening?
We residents avoided him at all costs. Not only did he piss away our precious time with verbose and often tangentially related lectures, he was down right dangerous. The head of internal medicine knew it; our chief resident knew it. So schedules were shuffled, teams were adjusted. Often the strongest housestaff were pulled to work on his team, and clean up the mess he made.
Years later, I now realize, that a number of poor unsuspecting veterans likely suffered by his clumsy hands. Thankfully, someone of authority usually stepped in before irreversible damage occurred. It was not that he didn't understand pathophysiology or differential diagnosis. His deficit was far more worrisome, he completely lacked in the art of medicine. When a patient zigged, he zagged. He flawlessly applied inappropriate and poorly timed algorithms in a rigid and ineffectual manner.
And worst of all, buoyed by all the back patting in Washington, he was utterly confident in his abilities.
Occasionally I still hear about him from time to time. Prancing through political circles or spouting off on CNN. His smile is wide and confident, but I will always remember his frown as a patient circled the drain, a victim of his misapplied "science".
And I shudder, shudder to think that the politicians who currently shape our healthcare policy are listening to him intently.
Posted by Jordan Grumet at 8:15 AM