Monday, May 2, 2011

Doctor stereotypes

So I was catching up on my blog roll today when I came across this post by Dr. Grumpy about the hilarious fuckery that ensues with a room full of doctors and it got me thinking about the physicians at my hospital.
Well, first of all, from my experience so far, 98 percent of surgeons and OBGYNs have serious personality disorders. I can think an exception in each case and it almost seems like both of these guys know what dick heads their cohorts are and are trying to make up for it or break the stereotype, because they are both incredibly nice all the time. Our Neurologists and Cardiologists are odd but nice enough. Anyone I've ever dealt with in geriatrics I'm pretty sure are not real doctors. Internal medicine doctors are fine when you can understand what the hell they're saying and they aren't fussy and in need of a nap.
Now to ER doctors. I count myself pretty lucky where I work. With the exception of one who I rarely see, who I'm pretty sure has a steel rod in his ass at all times, everyone is at least tolerable. Most of them I genuinely like. Most are blunt as hell to the point of sometimes being rude, but so am I as are most ER nurses so I'm completely cool with that. My only complaint? I'm pretty sure that if you studied the average ER physicians conversations that "actually" would be the most commonly used word in almost all cases. This especially applies now that we've started using this who SBAR format where we're supposed to be making suggestions. Any suggestion, no matter how reasonable, is often followed by "Well, acttuuuallly" and then a ten minute explanation about how the latest research indicates that most nurses are similar in intelligence to chimpanzees and suggesting Aspirin for chest pain is the leading cause of death among ER patients or some shit. When I renewed my ACLS the other day they actually go into how to communicate effectively in a code, except most of the information the instructor talked about in that unit was pretty much how to suggest the physician follow ACLS algorithms in a way that makes the physician think it's their own idea. It mostly just makes me laugh now, but we have a few people that are such frequent offenders that I just want to beat them over the head with the patient's chart.
So, fellow nurses, is this a common phenomenon, or is it just where I work? What kind of foolishness do the doctors in your field pull? Doctors, do you find yourself saying "actually" a lot, or am I judging you too harshly?


  1. I work in PACU so I come across every kind of doctor. I don't think orthopedic surgeons are real doctors. If the problen doesn't involve a joint they get internal medicene to fix it. Try calling an IM doc at 3am. Yeah, they yell at you and say, "I'm not the primary, call orhtopedics it's their problem!". Our OBGYNS are all very nice. When a patient goes bad anesthesia tells you to call the primary team to admit to ICU, the primary team tells you to have anesthesia admit. The hospitalist thinks they know everything and your patient is never sick enough to need to go to ICU. Our Cardiothoraic doctors are pretty much asses and don't get me started on neurosurgeons. When I worked the neuro floor for 5 years and spoke to maybe 2 attending neurosurgeons once each.

  2. I have worked most of my nursing years with Surgeons and OB/GYN...and you are absolutely spot on with your assessment of their personalities.

    In fact....ALL your assessments.

    It shouldn't be the case, but most of the direction we give MDs is put in a way so they will follow proper procedure or ....simply save the patient.

    Active persuasion also works....such in the situation I was in where an OB wouldn't call a Peds for a particularily potentially bad delivery...and I just told him I would be charting his refusal in my notes - he conceded, and yah, we REALLY needed the Peds.

  3. OBGYN, ER, and gen surgery are at the top of my list. What does that say about me?

    ...shit, yeah, you're pretty much spot on.

  4. We have a weird assortment of ED docs since my low life hospital uses mostly traveling docs. They come and go. The few regulars that we have I guess I'm used to but some of these travelers are real jerks. One guy had nobody in the room with him during a code except RT because of his verbal abuse. When I worked in the neuro ICU I felt like the neurosurgeons were the most elitist and nasty people put on earth. Vascular surgeons are close behind. Our hospitalists are either women who seem to have graduated yesterday or old men who couldn't care less what we have to say and order a million weird ass tests to be done stat before they leave the ED.

  5. I FUCKING HATE hospitalists who do that shit with a passion. Bitch, a HgA1c never needs to be STAT. We had one doctor who was so horrible about this there was literally a showdown with her and the CNS about a GI bleed patient we were about to take upstairs. She earned about 1,000 manager points for refusing to give this lady this chart because she knew it would take too long and she would order too much shit. Bottle neck our ED with your douchebaggery. Bastards.
    BTW, I miss you Rachedy.

  6. I have to disagree about the 98% of OBGYNs having personality disorders. I think about 50% are genuinely nice people who will listen to nursing suggestions/nursing orders, and about 25% are misogynists that deep down really hate women. The other 25% need to retire and get the heck out of OB.

  7. Yeah, my cousin works L&D at a county hospital and generally has good experience with OBGYNS- I think in an actual OB setting you probably get to see a few more than aren't completely burnt out yet. All the contact I have is with people who have been doing it forever, most of whom are hateful little divas. One of them is the BOMB though. We consulted him at 3 AM for a case that ended up being a urology issue, and he was still super jolly and fun and sweet to everyone.