Monday, August 04, 2008
It is a hard day when you surrender your childhood fantasy that folks are basically good.
I chose poorly with a job I took soon after residency. I ended up with a group of physicians, nice folks till you got to know them, who were all under the lash of the Queen Bee.
I met the Queen Bee at a national conference. She was drunk. She saw that I was a soon to be graduated resident and proceeded to woo me telling me what a bunch of worthless sons-of-bitches were working for her at the time and how badly I was needed. (Note to self: Do not accept job offers from drunk women who talk their employees down during your first meeting).
The Queen Bee had never done a residency (she had only done an internship and got a license), but had been at the right place at the right time, and got a contract to run what was, at that time, a relatively sleepy ER in a smallish town.
Over the years she 'grandfathered' into the specialty and held herself in the highest esteem. The town grew, the hospital grew, and she grew quite powerful within the hospital.
With magical hypnotizing rays which emanated from her hair-helmet she was able to subjugate many a physician to be her willing thrall. At the time I worked for her she was losing her mojo a bit... in the span of a few years she lost 14 physicians. Some of them were fired for unprovable reasons... "too many patient complaints... the nurses don't like you... you aren't a good fit" etc...
Conveniently, she managed to get rid of many of them early in their careers thereby avoiding paying them as a "partner". This is quite common with many groups, getting well-trained residents to strain at the lash for a couple of years, and then firing them before having to pay them at full reimbursement. More often, they pull the pussy stunt they did with me, making it obvious that one is not welcome anymore but not taking on the liability for firing someone without cause.
Other doctors quit in disgust and went elsewhere. The dagger for me came from wormtongue, an excellent doc, one of the best I've known (who was my 'mentor' and 'friend'), who delivered the news to me the day before I was to make partner, that I was going to be put on "probation". No warning. He chose money. I saw the writing on the wall so off I went.
In the last meeting we had the Queen Bee was all over me about a particular chart I had dictated. As it happened I had a patient go into cardiac arrest and I was called to the room. There was no bag-valve mask available so I gave the little old dude mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and then intubated him as CPR was continued.
"Goddamit Dr. 911, you are a physician... you never give mouth-to-mouth." Cross my heart and hope to die those were her exact words. Her face looked like a tomato and she was apoplectic while delivering this pearl that I had not actually learned in medical school (or residency). I was more afraid of her saliva than the lip-lock with the old dude... I saw "Alien" after all.
What she was really angry about was that I had dictated in the chart the reason that I HAD to give mouth-to-mouth... no equipment in the room where it was supposed to be... she was afraid of a lawsuit. Strangely, and in spite of the Queen's anger at me, the hospital itself gave me an award for putting myself at risk for this patient.
So, Queen Bee, may your hive be smoked. Sleep well, and, if you choose, you may see a picture of yourself in the dictionary under "bitch" (or at the top of this post).
Posted by 911DOC at Monday, August 04, 2008