* * Anonymous Doc: "I'd like to speak to the [p]resident"

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"I'd like to speak to the [p]resident"

I'm on call in the hospital and I get paged that a patient's family wants to talk to me about a patient I consulted on earlier.  I stop by the room.

"Are you the president?"


"Are you the president of the hospital?"

"No.  I'm the fellow who saw your mother earlier today."

"My wife has a brother who is a doctor, and he told me I should always make sure I speak to the president, because the president will be most familiar with the patient."

"I think you probably misheard.  He probably said resident."

"No, he said president."

"I think he said resident."

"Why would I want a resident of the hospital to know about my mother's condition?"

"Residents are the doctors who are most involved with the medical plan.  I was a resident until last year, and now I am a fellow.  The attendings are the doctors in charge of the decision-making.  That's just the hierarchy of the team.  The hospital president is not involved in patient care."

"He should be.  I want to speak to him, like my wife's brother said."

"I'm sure he said resident.  I can get the resident to stop by after rounds."

"The young woman we spoke to before?"


"She didn't seem like she was the president of anything."

"She wasn't the president, she was the resident."

"I'd rather wait for the president."


  1. Hmm...wonder what type of "doctor" the wife's brother is?

  2. Shit. I can't ever get the hospital president to talk to me.