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Doctor leaves surgery to deposit check at bank.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by qweewq11, Aug 8, 2002.

  1. qweewq11

    qweewq11 Smiley orgy organizer 7+ Year Member

    Jun 22, 2002
    Planet of the cows

    Doctor Leaves Surgery Patient to Visit Bank
    Thu Aug 8,10:58 AM ET

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) - A Massachusetts doctor has been suspended for leaving a patient on the operating table midway through spinal surgery so he could deposit a check at his local bank, authorities said on Thursday.

    The state board of medicine said David Arndt, an orthopedic surgeon, posed "an immediate threat to the public health, safety and welfare" after he left the patient last month with an open incision in his back.

    Arndt left behind a surgeon who was not qualified to complete the surgery, according to board documents. After his 35-minute trip to the bank, Arndt returned to the operating room and finished the surgery within a few hours.

    The patient, who was anesthetized during the procedure to restabilize his spine, apparently did not suffer any harm from Arndt's absence and was able to recover in the intensive care unit of Mount Auburn Hospital.

    The board on Wednesday suspended Arndt's license to practice medicine in Massachusetts, but he will have a chance to appeal the decision.

    According to a board investigator, Arndt acknowledged he had "exercised remarkably horrible judgement."

    Arndt explained to the investigator he had been waiting for his paycheck because he had to pay some overdue bills, and had been hoping to finish the surgery before his bank closed for the day.

    The procedure took longer than he expected, however, and Arndt decided to make a break for the bank midway through surgery.

    Arndt, a graduate of Harvard Medical School ( news - web sites), was not available for comment on his suspension.
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  3. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door Physician 10+ Year Member

    Ohh... BOO!! HISSSSSS!!!!:mad: +pissed+ :mad:
  4. Tweetie_bird

    Tweetie_bird 7+ Year Member

    Nov 20, 2001

    I am not one to judge too often, the liability "IF" something happened to the patient.

    What's happening to the docs these days???? :( No wonder people roll their eyes when i tell them i want to be a physician :rolleyes:
    whirlpool159 and redsox93 like this.
  5. poloace

    poloace Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 3, 2001
    that is whack... overdue bills. HA-
    let's see how overdue his bills will be now..
  6. calbears84

    calbears84 professional baller 7+ Year Member

    Sep 16, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    dude...thats just much was the check for?
    DoctorSwagger likes this.
  7. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat 7+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2002

    Why does that fool have overdue bills to begin with?
  8. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    seriously, hasn't anyone ever heard of automatic debits?
  9. Papa Smurf

    Papa Smurf Thug 4 Life 7+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Decreasing medicare reimbursements (5% this year alone) coupled with MD's that are unable to adjust their spending habits and thus continue to live from paycheck to paycheck = late payments.
  10. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat 7+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2002
    I was also thinking about why he can't set a budget and stick to it.
  11. MustafaMond

    MustafaMond K-Diddy M.D. 7+ Year Member

    Jul 14, 2002
    I bet homie just had a simple case of "god complex" and didnt really think that what he was doing was a big deal.

    I know surgeons that break scrub to have a smoke, or to take a break, if they need one. these usually last close to 30 min...

    The funny thing is that , I dont think the patient even has a malpractice case, because there was no damage done by the surgeon.

    He does, however, show a remarkably bad judgement, and it is good that they booted his ass.
    whirlpool159 likes this.
  12. JumboFool

    JumboFool Fantasy Baseball Addict 10+ Year Member

    Jul 19, 2002
    Red Sox Nation
    ha, what a story. I heard one of the local newscasters talking about it on the morning news, and he seemed *completely* baffled just reading the words off the paper/telecaster. Shows you where priorities in Cambridge lie (ooooooooo).
  13. FutureM.D.

    FutureM.D. Psychology major 7+ Year Member

    Jun 21, 2002

    Surgeon+pissed+ bad
  14. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats 10+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2001
    Glad I turned down Harvard....
  15. Spidey

    Spidey Leorl's official stalker 7+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    I wonder how far along in the surgery they were though... I mean if all that remained was to close up that doesnt seem like a big deal to me.
  16. nuclearrabbit77

    nuclearrabbit77 commercial sex worker 7+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    i agree that he was remarkedly stupid, but on the otherhand..perhaps he was already done with the difficult portion of the surgery, and felt confident that a chief resident could take over for 30 mins or so.. who knows?
    i think his suspension should consider that....
  17. anmol

    anmol Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 3, 2002
    Wait a minute, are you guys actually vouching for him here? I mean look at what he did. He left a person open on the table with an imcompetant MD. I mean what does that say about where his priorities are. Oh this is just another HUMAN BEING!! he/she can wait while I get some more impt stuff done. All that to freaken save the money for the fine for a late payment???? Granted he didnt hurt the patient, but helloooooooooooooooooo!! That is a person, imagine if that was your mom, or dad or anyone close to you. The MD has no respect whatsoever for his patient. Medicine is getting more and more reductionistic every day! It was a person onthe Operating table and not some diseased organ!! Im sorry, but that article really upset me.
    redsox93 likes this.
  18. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat 7+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2002
    Look, he was responsible for the well-being of the guy during the surgery. In my book that means he does not leave until the surgery is finished. Send an intern to deposit your check, if it that dire of a situation.
    SpartanWolverine likes this.
  19. kaos

    kaos Web Crawler 10+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2002
    what the hell?? :eek:
  20. 2badr

    2badr **Switch** 10+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2001
    That was simply stupid. What could he have been thinking? Even if he was done with the "difficult" portion of the surgery and trusted an intern to finish the job,this was dumb. With all the lawsuits being filed today because of negligence was it really worth risking the life of a patient. Anything could have happened. If you ask me he's lucky just his license was suspended. He could have been trying to explain the death of this patient to a jury.
    You better believe with all this publicity that family will sue him into next year.And those bills he was so worried about will seem like pennies.
  21. Weeble

    Weeble Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Nov 2, 2001
    Jeez, it's called direct deposit. :rolleyes:
    mistafab and redsox93 like this.
  22. I think that the patient does have a case against the surgeon. He is permitted to sue for neglect. I understand that the risk of surgical complication increases with length of the operation when the patient is under general anesthetic. He was endangering the patient's life by keeping him under for an unnecessarily long period of time.
  23. Whisker Barrel Cortex

    Whisker Barrel Cortex 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2001
    It doesn't sound like the surgery was almost over because the article says he came back and finished it within a few hours.

    Surgeons very often leave the OR prior to closure of the fascia and the skin and let the residents do that part. This is accepted practice. Leaving the hospital, however, is not acceptable.
  24. Spidey

    Spidey Leorl's official stalker 7+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2002
    That's what I was saying... the media loves to over-sensationalize everything but if all that remained was to close the guy up after the operation was pretty much done then I don't think it is such a ground-shaking big deal. However if he left an unqualified doc to perform the actual spinal surgery then the guy should definately be suspended/lose his license. It just seems hard to believe to me that someone smart enough to become a spinal surgeon could at the same time be stupid enough to do this.
  25. exigente chica

    exigente chica 7+ Year Member

    May 28, 2002
    that's gangster..

    With and "ER":laugh:
  26. Femtochemistry

    Femtochemistry Skunk Works 10+ Year Member

    May 13, 2002
    stupid Harvard graduate!! +pissed+
  27. vixen

    vixen I like members 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2000
    upstate ny
    Just because they're "smart" doesnt mean they'll always do the right thing....I think its ridiculous...the patient def has all the right for a lawsuit, I'd do the same thing! :mad:
  28. vixen

    vixen I like members 10+ Year Member

    Oct 17, 2000
    upstate ny
    I heard that he left for 35 minutes and the other people left in the OR were not capable of doing much in case something happened....that doesnt sound right to me....even though nothing happened its a huge risk I would people become that desensitized they forget that they are working on a HUMAN????!!! :mad:

    Why can't he stick to a budget?!
  29. kaos

    kaos Web Crawler 10+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2002
    I know, come on! :rolleyes:

    and it was probably credit card bills, too.
  30. kidsmd

    kidsmd Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 12, 2002
    Hmmm... makes me wonder if it really was overdue bills or some other thing he can't really say..... i mean, who leaves to go pay a bill. There's just something that seems totally weird about it.
  31. MacGyver

    MacGyver Banned Banned

    Aug 8, 2001
    Look, what the guy did was definitely foolish and wrong. But thats not enough for a med malpractice lawsuit. The patient would have to prove that he suffered great harm as a result of the doctor leaving to go to the bank; I see no such evidence that the patient was harmed.
    bannie22 likes this.
  32. MacGyver

    MacGyver Banned Banned

    Aug 8, 2001
    Thats true, but unless the patient can prove he suffered physical injury as a result of him leaving the hospital, he has no case. simple as that.
  33. kaos

    kaos Web Crawler 10+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2002
    As angry as I am about this, I'm sorry I have to agree. Without injury, he's got no physical evidence supporting his case. They could probably say that the doctor knew what he was doing, no matter how horrendous his actions.

  34. MandM06

    MandM06 Mr. 25/8 10+ Year Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    It's true that this has been happening for years, but it has been kept under the rug. A resident told me that doctors usually just get dismissed from the hospital or given "verbal" warnings.

    It just makes you go HMMMMMMMMM..........:confused:
  35. longhorn

    longhorn Banned Banned

    Jun 24, 2002
    The surgeon used bad jundgement plain and simple. I worked as a surgery assistant sophomore year of college and I had to run all kinds of errands for surgeons (ie getting them food, checking on a phone call.,one time i got to drive his benz) I just don't understand how you canleave your patient in the OR. TSK TSK
  36. northernpsy

    northernpsy Psychiatrist. No, I'm not analyzing you

    Jan 20, 2016
    kb1900, enchantediris, sat0ri and 5 others like this.
  37. Matthew9Thirtyfive

    Matthew9Thirtyfive Foxy. 2+ Year Member

    Jan 10, 2016
    Crazy story. Really feel for the patient. Glad the doc got help though. Fort Dix is, coincidentally, where I shipped out of to boot camp.
  38. AttemptingScholar


    Apr 1, 2016
    Ways this could have been avoided:

    1. Not having overdue bills in the first place
    2. Being willing to go deposit it after the surgery
    3. Being willing to wait one more day to pay them
    4. Automatic debit
    5. Depositing check through phone (what I do)

    Does anyone know the cheese metaphor? To make a mistake, you have to make so many mistakes that no procedural redundancies catch it? (You have to line up the cheese so it goes through all the holes. Usually, if it goes through one hole, something else will miss it.)

    Meth. Not even once.
    mistafab and Lucca like this.
  39. bannie22

    bannie22 Hero 7+ Year Member

    Apr 5, 2009
    If it was a resident
    1) tons of overdue bills
    2) bank would have closed
    3) see #2

    Im a little surprised this was an issue tho because it is pretty common place for the attending to not be present.
    The media could have easily sensationalized that the other MD was not sufficiently skilled
  40. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2001
    Lactate > 15
    An almost 15 year necrobump. We may need a new name -- paleobump? Is that a record?

  41. cactusman


    Oct 12, 2016
    Well @Jalby 's legendary thread is 16 years old and bumped regularly.
    mwsapphire likes this.
  42. fball22


    May 16, 2016
    Phone deposits didn't exist in 2002.
  43. SpartanWolverine

    SpartanWolverine Is it March 16 yet? Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    Jun 28, 2012
    Turns out his dire financial straits were due to his meth addiction.

    And, apparently, he really messed up that surgery (though even if he made no surgical mistakes I'm sure any adverse outcome could be blamed on his absence).
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  44. RenegadeOkapi


    May 12, 2016
    I've shadowed surgeons that let other docs finish suturing and stuff after the "main" portion is done. I agree that it was incredibly irresponsible of him to take care of personal matters during work, but I doubt he left the patient out of malignant negligence. He probably just felt that the other doc was qualified to finish the procedure. I'm not taking his side, just saying that discussing the situation is better than witchhunting him.

    Edit: I'm really sorry, I should check dates of posts and read further before commenting. So sorry! I hate these stupid necrobumps.

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