Irrefutable Evidence Dr. Weanus is Human

Dr. Weanus is old friends with Dr. Sendemtoemerg, the GP, having roomed with him as undergraduates at the University of Toronto. When Sendemtoemerg asks for his help in getting a patient admitted not having privileges himself (and therefore by-passing all that pesky business of being seen by Emergency) Weanus is ready, even eager to oblige. The patient, in fact, is not really that sick, having had influenza; she’s a touch dehydrated, and maybe needs an IV. More importantly to this narrative, she plays golf with Sendemtoemerg’s wife.

No problem, says Dr. Weanus, who believes his skill in cutting through the red taper and health care bureaucracy is legendary. Just send the poor dear to the Emerg, and I’ll admit her.

When Dr. Sendemtoemerg calls the ward clerk about this “arrangement,” the health care bureaucracy, i.e. me, is singularly not very impressed by this attempted end-run around the usual procedure, especially when the ED is already filled with admitted patients. Dr. Weanus knows this care plan is highly, um, irregular, if for the simple reason if every GP sent their patients to the ED “for admission” in this way we’d be sunk. Up the creek. Dead in the water. Pick your cliché. Our role in the larger functioning of the hospital is to prevent unnecessary admissions. We’re gatekeepers. Back-door admissions short-circuit the process.

“Absolutely not,” I decree. If this patient shows up at triage, she will go through the normal ED workup.

A little while later Dr. Weanus phones me. He is intensely irritated. He rants. He raves. He threatens. Why is this patient being seen by Emerg? Why is she not in a bed, awaiting my consultation? You are doing nothing for her! She is desperately ill! And so on. Standard Dr. Weanus, all shouty, sarcastic discourse.

I yawn. I know her labs are normal, and after a courtesy IV bolus, mostly a nod to Dr. Sendemtoemerg, she will go home.

Sometime after that I’m working on the staffing and I look up to see Weanus hovering over the charge nurse desk.

“I owe you an apology,” he says. His face is red. “My behaviour on the phone was inappropriate, and what I tried to do was wrong. I’m sorry.”

To say I am gobsmacked would be an understatement. One thing to note is I had become so inured to Weanus’s outbursts that I had to actually stop and think if he was that awful. (He was.)

“If the fool would persist in his folly,” said William Blake, “he would become wise.” Is it possible Weanus is learning? He’s reflecting on his behaviour. He’s trying to be a better person. Golly, he’s human after all.


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  1. #1 by Terri C on Thursday 27 January 2011 - 1536

    Wow. I am glad to hear this although I do wonder if he needs worked up for altered mental status. Even though the alteration is a GOOD alteration.

  2. #2 by Maha on Thursday 27 January 2011 - 1828

    He’s up to something…. But that’s just cynical, trust-issues me talking.

  3. #3 by Jenn Jilks on Saturday 29 January 2011 - 1003

    I love it! My husband has a Meals on Wheels (MoW) client who ought to have her food dumped…well, I wouldn’t tolerate being talked to that way. Complaints (too hot, too little, not good, doesn’t like it, it’s late,) sent towards a volunteer would render me not-so-speechless. I want to march over there and give her a piece of my mind about the way she treats my hubby. He donated 15 hours of his time last week to MoW. To experience this treatment is awful. He’s a patient man. I’d turn around and take it away…
    ‘Forget the meal, toots, you clearly don’t want it.’
    This volunteer crap is a pain in the arse, too.

    Amazing how people treat others. Shameful.
    Glad to read a bit of progress on your end.

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