Dr. Oliver Starsky was recently honored at the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting after he called a code blue on a psychiatric patient who required a physical exam.
“I’ve been in this business for three decades,” Starsky said, “but I’ve never stopped thinking outside the box. I’ll be honest with you. I broke out in cold sweats for a minute or two when I thought I might actually have to touch the patient, but then I decided to get innovative.”
The patient apparently was a 23 year old male with no physical complaints who was admitted to inpatient psychiatry for suicidal ideation. During the third hour of chart review, Starsky realized that the patient had not gotten a physical exam when he was seen by providers in the emergency room. Starsky immediately ordered Thorazine 200mg IM to give himself time to ponder his options. Shortly thereafter he drove to Starbucks to get a caramel macchiato before hurrying back to the hospital to search for a code button.
Though initially unsuccessful in his search, Starsky accidentally hit a code button two hours later as he was gesticulating wildly while telling a nephrologist about the dangers of QTc prolongation. When the code team arrived, Starsky quickly directed them to the cafeteria where he ordered salmon and a fruit cup before leading them to the psychiatric unit.
The code team prepared to revive the patient until they realized that he was sleeping. Starsky requested immediate documentation of all of the code team’s finding. Starsky then copied and pasted the code team’s note into his own H&P in a section called “physical exam” that he placed just below his discussion of Jungian archetypes.
“I applaud Dr. Starsky’s performance,” said Dr. Allison Becker, president of the APA. “The only deficiency I see is that he should have performed CBT during the entire process since we all know that therapy and medication together yield better results than either one alone. That said, given my commitment to the concept of unconditional positive regard, I cannot even truly call this a deficiency. It’s probably more of a misunderstanding on my part.”
Starsky belabored the fact that he would not let his new found recognition go to his head. He plans to keep his chin down and return to work as soon as possible, which will likely be sometime in 2023.