You can bet that doctors are going to be a little more careful in how they talk about their patients in the future, following the awarding of a half a million Doctor Dollars to a man from Vienna, Virginia. The man, unidentified in press accounts, went to a medical suite in Reston, Va. for a colonoscopy. He had a pretty good idea: he hit the "voice record" button on his smart phone so as to capture the post-procedure instructions his doctor would give him.
On the way home, he pressed play and was surprised to find that a) he had let the thing keep recording all along and
b) the anesthesiologist and her staff were big-time goofing on him all through the procedure.
Anyone over 50 knows the pleasure of spending one day at home, draining the crankcase, as it were, so that the next day the doctor can slide a hose up the old sit biscuit, a hose with a flashlight and a camera and a microwave on the end of it. The purpose is serious; they are looking for polyps which could become cancerous, so it's worth it to have this completely embarrassing and inconvenient ordeal done to you every so often (doctors recommend at least three of them per month, just to be safe.)
Anyway, the doctors weren't just insulting him to his second face; they were also rigging up a false diagnosis on his chart and planning to avoid speaking with him afterwards.
On the recording, one hears such delightful, professional passages as, "After five minutes of talking to you in pre-op, I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit,” (anesthesiologist to nurse, about him.)
A medical assistant saw he had a rash. The anesthesiologist told her not to touch it. "You might get some syphilis on your arm or something. It’s probably tuberculosis in the penis, so you’ll be all right."
And, the most disgusting of all (and that took some doing): The man was queasy when watching the IV needle being placed in his arm, and this wonderful anesthesiologist said, “Well, why are you looking then ?”
And she used that vile "r" word that I abhor.
And there were other horrible things, and in a suit for defamation and medical malpractice, a Fairfax County jury ordered the anesthesiologist and her practice to pay him $500,000.
The name of the anesthesiologist is Tiffany M. Ingham. At 42, she is acting like a six-year-old playing doctor. The Washington POST said she has left the practice and moved to Florida, and has already left the job she recently started there.
A spokesperson for Aisthesis, former employer of Dr Ingham, said in a statement: “We apologize to this patient and regret the distress and suffering that this most unfortunate incident caused. The anesthesiologist involved is no longer with our practice. Once we learned of this incident we assured that every anesthesia staff member reviewed and reiterated their pledge to abide by our professional organization’s code of ethics.”
The man was awarded $100,000 for defamation — $50,000 each for comments about the man having syphilis and tuberculosis — and $200,000 for medical malpractice, as well as the $200,000 in punitive damages.
Listen. We understand that doctors are only human, and we men know with certainty that while we are under sedation, a veritable phalanx of doctors, nurses and medical staff will be goofing on our noodles. We just wish they'd be nice about it, but maybe having to shell out half a mill will help.