Surgeon shows up at video court date during surgery

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In the sequel he will probably Zoom into the resulting medical board hearing while driving. Hypocritic oath?


Given the general complete lack of social awareness, empathy and similar qualites common among surgeons, this really shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Tbh, it’s probably a stalling tactic, given that he was the defendant.


Better than the pre-Zoom era when workaholic surgeons would just wheel the operating table into the courtroom with them.


Yeah this is kinda the epitome of the asshole surgeon asking “just exactly what can I do to show complete and utter contempt for the court?”


Exactly. A pure power move - “hey, look, I’m doing important stuff, but I’m taking time out of “saving people’s lives”* to appear here. If you don’t want me to, that’s up to you.”

*likely not the case, given that most surgeries are minor. But it’s the impression that counts! Perception is reality.


At least he was wearing a mask…


shades of hover-board dentist?


Even though this situation is a terrible example of how to do it, I hope courts would consider keeping this as an option post-pandemic. For decades, workers have had to take days off, risk getting fired, and get caught up in the moving target of court calendars and dates. Rather than attempting to work at the same time, all that’s needed is to find a quiet space and time to participate in the session. Maybe in the future the press will focus on cases and places where this has been working well, instead of providing dramatic examples of failures for anti-tech advocates to use in their efforts to drag us back into the costly old ways of doing things.


Did the patient on whom he was operating consent to being recorded and their procedure posted to YouTube? And does that represent an unauthorized release of their medical information for purposes of HIPAA?

That surgeon likely has bigger problems ahead than a traffic court appearance.


Exactly. Traffic courts do need an occasional reminder of just how unimportant that they are in the scheme of things. Few people are more annoying than the self important cop and judge who are acting like they have brilliantly saved society by solving the crime of the century over a 15 mph over the limit ticket.


I wonder if the judge would be so kind and accommodating to, say, a person of color who couldn’t attend because they’d get fired from their job at the grocery store if they took the time off. I suspect they would been found guilty in absentia for failure to appear and had the maximum sentence applied.


You don’t get to traffic court unless you really fucked up, or want to fight your ticket in court. (The last makes sense— a lot of advice to fight your ticket in court is based on the fact that the officer involved won’t show, meaning your ticket gets thrown out. Did not work out for this guy).
He had every ability to block out his schedule to be free appropriately, and refused to do so. Btw that’s 35$/ min OR time that is being billed to the patient, so surgeon is thrice being an asshole. if the judge don’t get him for contempt the medical director at the hospital/ surgicenter etc will. Off chance he owns his own place of operation but more likely that it is a hospital or surgicenter that he may have a stake in but has partners who will also be cheesed off that this guy.
Also, I’d say again he’s exposing the patient, exposing the other medical professionals in the room, wasting everyone’s time, and quite probably risking the patients safety by phoning while operating.
Christ what an asshole.


This surgeon also reminds me of an acquaintance of mine who would drive recklessly all the time, get tickets constantly, then fight every single one of them tooth-and-nail in traffic court. He would brag about all his strategies for beating the tickets, the special traffic court lawyer he had, etc.

His friends were saying constantly, “Dude, just slow down. Isn’t that easier?”


I was also thinking that and what about somebody who works a blue collar or service job? Likely they would get fired for using their phone or taking a break from work and or the judge would say something like “there is too much noise in the call… issue a subpoena and hold them in contempt…” that would especially be likely for POC.

  • This was totally unprofessional of the surgeon.
  • This might be a HIPAA violation for broadcasting the procedure and viewing by anybody. Unless they got the patient to waive this restriction. It’s done all the time for education purposes … but not court appearances.
  • Clinicians talk all the time during surgery. There are even times you end up waiting around for pathology, something to get sterilized, the patient to stabilize, etc. But a court appearance requires a time slice that can’t be scheduled or juggled around immediate procedure needs. I’ve held many conversations with surgeons as they work, but rule 1 is to STFU when they are busy. Not something a judge will be int he mood to deal with.

I wonder if he found out the officer was going to be there so he put on this “show” so it would get rescheduled and hopefully the officer won’t show up next time and his ticket will be thrown out.

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OK - gotta offer a contrarian view -

Not sure I agree about unprofessional, the patient was being cared for by another surgeon and the Dr. was respectful and was not actively working on the patient - that the court made a what amounts to a medical determination about the patient was surprising to me! Also, everyone was present, including the officer, so for the court to reschedule the hearing affects all the parties.

It does not appear the video is showing anything but the surgeons face, so not sure what PHI, if any you believe is being disclosed.

Also it’s a traffic ticket hearing, which probably could have been resolved pretty quickly and avoided another hearing - the longest I have spent in a traffic hearing is maybe five minutes.


Or… he could have been fulfilling his obligation to the court and took appropriate steps to ensure that the hearing could proceed as scheduled.

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