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Time to Retire?


I’m getting the impression that one of the docs from a nearby hospital needs to retire. A couple of patients have come in with statements he’s made that … well you decide.

Patient family member 1 (happens to be a CNA at our hospital)Bone vs Blood on Brain CT
“Question for you: Are there bones inside the brain?”
“Umm. No. The brain sits inside the skull which is a bone, but there is no bone inside the brain. Why do you ask?”
“Well, my great aunt fell and hit her head. They took her to Metro General Hospital. Dr. Smith over there showed us her CT scan and said “let’s just hope that’s bone in there.”
For the non-medical people reading along, both bone and blood appear as white on CT scans.
Bone doesn’t grow inside brains.
The term “bonehead” is a misnomer.

Patient family member 2
Patient comes in Leg Edemawith severe edema from the feet to the waist in pretty severe CHF. He had other medical problems and was rather cachectic in his upper body.
We discussed plans to admit the patient and said he’d probably be in the hospital for a couple of days.
“You’re going to give him some fluids, right?”
“Noooo. When someone is in heart failure, we usually give them medicine to get the fluid out of the body, not put more in.”
“Well, when we were over at Metro General Hospital with the same problem last month, Dr. Smith gave him fluids and told us that Roger was ‘dehydrated from the waist up.'”


  1. But will this doctor, or any other doctor, step up to the plate and take steps to see that Dr Smith “retires”? Highly doubtful, for doctors, like the cops, protect their own. No one wants to be seen as a troublemaker.

    • Fair point.
      The problem is that the statements are coming from third parties, amount to hearsay, and I’m only getting one side of the story.
      I’m not sure that it is fair to go after a doc based solely on that. What if the guy was just joking around regarding the “bone”? What if there were other issues regarding the patient’s prior CHF admission or what if the patient wasn’t really in CHF at all? What if the patients misunderstood?
      Tough position to be in.

      • As you say, it’s not proof but it certainly sounds like something that warrants a review. I’m thinking of the doc that said, “Oh, that’s nothing” about the firm swelling on my mother’s face. In the big picture it didn’t matter, the cancer was far too virulent to have been stopped but that easily could have been a deadly mistake.

  2. Cachectic…Now that’s a word I haven’t heard in a long time. Once cared for a patient who was dying of CHF and it broke my heart to see him in such a state. It’s also why I don’t like rehab units. I don’t like the “before” because the “after” even with rehab, doesn’t always bring back “before”. :(

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