For three days, we'd been trying to get a surgeon to do a consult on one of the patients-- but it's a low-priority case, patient needed a biopsy but another day or two wasn't going to change anything. I probably called half a dozen times and they kept pushing it off, the patient was getting annoyed-- why haven't they come already / I want to go home / what kind of a hospital is this?
So finally I got one of the attendings on the phone and I basically begged him to come and take a look, just to get the wheels in motion, so we didn't have to wait yet another day. He tells me he'll come in a few hours.
A few hours pass, he pages me to let me know he's on his way, we walk into the patient's room.
He looks at her.
"What is this?"
"What do you mean?"
He lifts her arm, lets go, it drops. He tries to get a reaction from her-- nothing.
"Why isn't this woman in the ICU?"
"Yeah... I think I might need to call a rapid response here."
The patient wasn't opening her eyes to commands, was having trouble breathing... certainly not a candidate for surgery.
As the rapid response team rushed in, the surgeon walked out.
"Don't waste my time again," and he rolled his eyes.