* * Anonymous Doc: Don't Ever Tell My Father to Call 911

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Don't Ever Tell My Father to Call 911

TO: Fellowship Director, Department Head, Hospital CMO
CC: Anon Doc
RE: My Father

I am writing concerning your fellow, [Anon Doc].  My father is (was) a patient of his. Over the weekend, my father called -- and of course, as usual, [Anon Doc] did not pick up the phone and my father, who has difficulty speaking clearly, had to leave a message.  My father tried to explain to the (seemingly uneducated) phone operator that he was having trouble breathing.  Ten minutes later, [Anon Doc] finally calls back and tells my father that if he is having trouble breathing, he should call 911, and that he can be seen in the emergency room, but that he himself could not see my father until Wednesday, FOUR WHOLE DAYS AWAY.  

I am an attorney and very familiar with doctors and how they should behave.  I have had previous conversations with [Anon Doc] about how we want to avoid my father going to the hospital-- and certainly not via ambulance!  He should NEVER tell him to call 911. I am lucky my father knew not to listen.  What is the point of having a doctor if he is only reachable after leaving a message and waiting for a call back? In an emergency, the ten minutes it took him to call are CLEARLY unacceptable. I have repeatedly asked [Anon Doc] for his cell phone number and he has declined to give it to me.  I am an attorney and I give my cell phone number to all of my clients whom I am confident will not abuse it.  

To wait FOUR DAYS to see a doctor in an emergency is unacceptable.  It is also unacceptable that [Anon Doc] has hired such an uneducated person to answer his phone.  

I thought you would all want to be aware why my father is leaving the practice.  

I am an attorney, and will not hesitate to take legal action if something happens to my father before we can find him a new doctor.  


  1. Any idiot knows when you are having trouble breathing, you call 911. As an attorney, you should have the sense to know that you do NOT tell your father not to call 911 or NOT to go to the hospital, and you do NOT tell your father's doctor that either. Any attorney worth his salt as a father and/or as an attorney should know this. So perhaps you should take legal action against YOURSELF for this. Amazing.

  2. Is he an attorney? I'm not entirely clear. :)

    Yes, difficulty breathing isn't a life-threatening condition. It's certainly much better to have the private, personal cell phone number of the attending so he can drop what he's doing at the hospital and personally rush to dad's home to attend to his needs. I hear the outcomes are significantly greater when following that plan of action as opposed to calling 911 and taking a speedy ambulance ride to the local ED where dad would quickly be seen by emergency personnel.

  3. Tell him if he wants the personal cell phone number of a doctor so he can call whenever he would like, to pay for concierge service!

  4. If that man's really an attorney, he isn't a very good one.

    "To wait FOUR DAYS to see a doctor in an emergency is unacceptable. "

    Uh, yeah. That's why there are emergency rooms. For, you know, emergencies. :/

  5. I'm wondering if he wants his father to die...

  6. What does this guy do for a living again? Love this! PS Please send me your personal cell phone number. :)

  7. Careful, I think the email might be from an attorney.