I've heard it said before that stereotypes are rooted in reality. Sure, stereotypes are over-simplified generalisations that can be grossly inaccurate - the dumb blonde, the drunk Irishman, etc. But my stereotype of ER doctors being morons is based on innumerable interactions with these people, and I'd say my conclusion is rather accurate, with a few exceptions. I'm sure I've made my utter disdain for most emergency physicians clearly evident, but there's a damned good reason for it - they suck. Seriously, they all suck. I promise that I haven't developed this point of view for no reason.
I got a call from a frantic ER physician for a patient with an acute abdomen. Just to give some background, saying the words "acute abdomen" to a surgeon is like a ship telegraphing "SOS" - it means someone needs surgery RIGHT NOW, and we come running. I did exactly that - I happened to be in the hospital making rounds, so I ran down to the emergency department and looked for the patient on the registration board. I got nervous when I couldn't find his name - Was I too late? Had he died already? It had only been a couple of minutes! SHIT!
The ER doctor was nowhere to be found, so I asked several of the nurses if they knew where I could find Mr. X (not his real name), but they all assured me that they had no earthly idea whom I was talking about. That's when I remembered I was dealing with an ER doc.
My suspicion began to take over.
After I assured myself that Mr. X (still not his real name) was not yet checked in, my panic subsided and I wandered over to the waiting room and asked for Mr. X. A very comfortable-looking middle-aged man raised his hand, and he was happy to tell me that he had been having abdominal pain for about a month, but it was just a bit worse today. He couldn't get an appointment with his doctor for a few weeks, so he came to the emergency department instead to get checked out.
When I asked the ER doc about it, he told me very matter-of-fact that he had overheard the patient telling the receptionist that he was having "a really bad stomach ache", so he assumed it was an acute abdomen and called me right away. No blood work, no X-rays, no CT scan. He hadn't even looked at the patient, let alone examined him.
So what do you think? Think my opinion is justified?