Richard Thompson, a local ophthalmologist, was appalled to discover that he had accidentally agreed to see a patient currently admitted to local Mercy Hospital on Tuesday.
“I don’t really know how it happened,” reports Thompson. “I remember answering a phone call from somebody right as I was about to take my afternoon nap. I really needed some rest. I have a 9 AM tee time tomorrow. I guess I just blew it off.”
The 48-year-old ophthalmologist from Kansas City, Missouri reportedly sat in a state of disbelief for hours after receiving a second call from the hospital asking when he would be coming in to see Ms. Perez, a 63-year-old woman with sudden vision loss.
“How did they get my number anyway?!” exclaimed Thompson, dumbfounded. “I don’t even know how to get to the hospital! Do I need a special badge? How will the scribe know where to find me?”
“We were shocked when he said yes,” states Tim Graham, the second-year internal medicine resident who called in the consult. “Usually, when we consult ophthalmology, we are connected to an answering service and forced to leave a message. Then, an automated calling service returns our inquiry within 24-48 hours asking if we would still like a consult. If so, we provide a fax number so the consult form can be sent to us to fill out. Then the form has to be scanned in and emailed to the office secretary who informs the ophthalmologist of the pending consult within 7-10 days.”
“It just seems needlessly complicated,” Graham added.
The news quickly spread throughout the hospital that an ophthalmologist would be coming to the inpatient ward. “I’m excited,” proclaimed Barbara Shields, an infectious disease specialist. “We haven’t seen an ophthalmologist here since the Conjunctivitis Crisis of 1983. There were so many pink eyes that day. It was a dark time for all the ophthalmologists involved. A few of them even worked through lunch.”
“Maybe she can come to my clinic instead,” Thompson stammered, obviously grasping at straws. When informed that the patient was admitted with Clostridium difficile colitis and had to maintain contact precautions, Thompson began to wail as he curled up into a fetal position in his third floor whirlpool luxury edition tub.