HOUSTON, TX- A 12-hour stand-off with law enforcement involvement took place today at the outpatient pediatric clinic at Texas Children’s Hospital. In what appears to be a first of sorts in medical news, a first-year pediatrics trainee, or intern, refused to return a nose to its rightful 9 year-old owner during a medical encounter.
Twenty-six year-old Dr. Thomas Degeneres, was evidently not playing around with new patient, Avery Weaver-Parker. Degeneres was in the midst of his newly acquired rapport-building routine of catching a patient’s nose with Avery when things went awry. Avery became agitated, screaming and cursing at Degeneres, while single-handedly dismantling the examination room.
Nurses and clinic staff were called in to subdue the irate child while Degeneres held on tightly to the caught nose and placed it out of reach. Avery’s mother, Jenni Parker, attempted to intervene by pleading with Degeneres to return the nose but the young physician held firm.
Degeneres insisted on keeping it until the child calmed himself down, then reassembled and cleaned the examination room. This did not sit well with Avery who aggressively launched himself towards Degeneres. Law enforcement was then called in to contain the labile confrontation and facilitate negotiations.
Degeneres, visibly shaken and still holding the nose, was able to provide a brief interview: “As medical providers, we must stand by our principles. This child needed to be taught a lesson that no amount of crying, screaming and aggressive behavior will allow him to get what he wants. I may be a new doctor, but I know a few things about what’s right and what’s wrong.”
The boy’s mother was able to comment: “I don’t know what they’re teaching these young fools, these days. Give the boy his freakin’ nose back! Avery’s always hated that touchy-feely tactic and of course he went ballistic! He’s a special sensitive child and home-schooled for that very reason. We’ve kept his life as free of confrontation as possible. He’s delicate and misunderstood.”
Negotiations between the two sides were mediated by local police and once reason and calm were restored, the nose was relinquished back to Avery. Degeneres has been placed on administrative leave with pay for an undetermined amount of time.
Pediatrics residency director, Dr. Barry Tison, released a statement that nose catching will now be de-emphasized during training in favor of “the Claw” and “Are you ticklish?” rapport-building techniques. Avery received no punishment from his parents after the incident and will no longer be seeing Degeneres as a patient. No charges will be filed against either party.