March 9, 2008
Sometimes I hear things come out of people's mouths that just make me go "Did you really just say that?" That happened this morning. I had a patient come in, prior c-section, scheduled for a VBAC induction Monday a.m., with contractions every 6-8 minutes. Cervix was closed and thick. Called the MD on call. He says "prep her for a c-section in an hour". It wasn't necessary because she wasn't in labor, the baby was okay, and she wasn't bleeding. Patient only spoke French, and FOB translated for her. I go and tell them what the Doc wants to do. They refuse. It's their right and really, I thought that was a wise choice. Why not see what happens? So I call the doc back. He says I'm coming in. He was so unbelievable rude to this couple. He said over and over "Your baby could die. Death. Do you understand that? Your uterus will come apart and your baby and you could die." The dad stuck to his guns and said no. The conversation was much longer than this with much more condesceding tone than I can describe in words. Then the doc asked the "Why did you come to America?". I stood there, felt all color drain out of my face and thought "You did not just say that, did you?". The dad came right back and told him that he shouldn't ask them that. After it was all said and done, the doc continued to bad-mouth this couple at the desk because they weren't married, were uneducated, etc. It was more than I could take. Funny thing, she wasn't in labor. Her contractions stopped after some IV fluids. So she didn't need to be delivered. I obviously turned in an incident report. Hopefully it will be taken care of appropriately. I went in and apologized to the family and they were okay with me. I also assured them that the appropriate steps were being taken to take care of the bad behavior of this physician.