Doctor apologized

  1. Last night when I called a doctor with test results, I also told him that a family member of that patient had just called with a request (actually demand) for an ortho consult for that patient. He said they should talk to the doctors about things like that during the day when they're making rounds instead of waiting until night to call back up to the hospital and that this patient was admitted a week ago and asked why are they waiting until now to ask for this. I agreed. Anyway, within 15 minutes, there was another call from this doctor. When I came to the phone, he said, "look, I apologize to you for snapping earlier. It wasn't you and I shouldn't have snapped at you" then went on to explain how it irritates him how some people will wait until night to call and ask about things they had ample time to do during the day. I thought that was very nice of him to have thought about how he might have come across to me (even though I really wasn't offended by what he said earlier or how he said it) and then called me back to apologize for it.

    Has a doctor ever apologized to you for something?
    •  
  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Yes. Pretty much a similar situations twice I remember right away. Both times docs got a little snippy and later acknowledged it apologized. They are human too. A few times in my career I've had to make apologies to those around me when I've been less than stellar in my attitude.

    It feels good to be apologized too after being snapped at doesn't it?
  4. by   Spidey's mom
    Yes, sort of the same situation . . getting snippy over the phone.

    Once during a delivery with a shoulder dystocia, the doc said loudly "McRobert's!!" and then later apologized to me for being rude . . .umm, no doc you were not rude . . it was scarier than heck and we needed to get that baby out and putting her in "McRobert's" was the right thing to do and you can be as loud as you like as long as you stay in charge of getting the baby out.

    I like our docs - they are all flawed, just like the nurses are.

    steph
  5. by   akoster
    I had to call a general surgeon from the next town who was on call for transfers and he basically said no I'm not doing it find someone else. a few minutes later he called back to say that his wife
    (who is also a doctor) heard him on the phone to me and is making him apolgize and explain why he can't take the patient. I thought it was funny that he told me his wife made him call back
  6. by   June55Baby
    Hummmm... boosts your respect for that physician about 100 points! :spin:
  7. by   Dalzac
    I had a Dr. at shift change just lay into me when I found a pt. in trouble with some really wicked bleeding. He was screaming something about why am I the only one that calls him at midnight with horrible news. (MMMM ...cause I follow a really lame nurse?) When he came in he apoligized profusely and then stated he wished I worked an earlier shift so the crap that just happened would be caught earlier.
  8. by   TiffyRN
    Worked with a talented GI doc a couple of hospitals ago. He had a horrible reputation with the nurses I worked with. I thought he was not bad as in he was irritable when you didn't do a thorough assessment and have labs and med list at hand. But his reaction was to get huffy, not curse and call you stupid.

    Anyway. . .

    After I had been there for a year or so I needed to see a GI doc and I highly respected this doc so I made an appt. Before he started my history and physical he acknowledged that he knew I worked at the nearby hospital. When he found out I worked weekend nights, he paused and very seriously apologized for any rude things he may have said to me when I called him. He said he just had a lot of trouble being nice when he was awakened at night.

    I thought it was ironic since I didn't even consider him rude, maybe cranky, but I've seen rude, he didn't qualify.
  9. by   llg
    Quote from June55Baby
    Hummmm... boosts your respect for that physician about 100 points! :spin:
    I agree completely. I can understand that sometimes we all get a little frustrated with something and say something we shouldn't. So, I am quick to forgive when someone does that and later apologizes.

    2 specific instances come to mind. The first occurred after a physician had been having a really bad day due to some political issues at the hospital: I can't even remember what it was. During the afternoon, he took it out on me. As it was a Friday afternoon and I had no reason I had to stay, I went home. Later that afternoon, he called me and apologized, not wanting me to be upset about it all weekend. I thought that was a nice touch and did not hold a grudge.

    On another ocassion, a nursing professor at my graduate school had a good reputation with the students. During my first meeting with her, she was very snippy -- but apologized the next. We worked together on several projects over the next few years. She was only snippy 1 other time -- and she apologized then, too.

    I would be happy to work with either one of those people again in a heartbeat.
  10. by   SitcomNurse
    I've had a doc yell at me over the phone for the ineptitude of another shift(I work nights) and he was fit to be tied. I said to him.. While I fully understand that you dont want to be awakened in the middle of the night for something the other 2 shifts coulda handled when you were here...But that is not my fault and I will not tolerate being spoken to this way. This is the order I need for this patient. Just say the word, and I will get off the phone and back to my job.

    The next time I was in on day shift I walked into his office and asked him if he was feeling any better. He apologized, said he knew it wasnt me, and that he was going to bring it to the next meeting that other docs handle thses death and dying situations before the weekend!! An doc blaming another doc?? yep. Its true. Partners at that.
  11. by   P_RN
    Sounds like a classy doc.
  12. by   TazziRN
    Years ago private docs were allowed to call the ER with orders for their pts. Pts would come in and be treated based on those orders without ever being seen by the ER doc and the private doc would not come in to see them. Once there was a bad outcome: a child died when she was sent in from the office for an injection. After that it became policy that every pt is seen by an MD, be it the ER MD or the private one. A private doc (happened to be the one I saw myself at the time) called and gave me phone orders on a pt he was sending in. As per policy, I asked him if he was coming in or would he like the ER doc to see the pt. I got an earful. Then he put me on hold and the ER chief happened to be sitting next to me. I told him what was going on and he took the phone from me. When the private doc came back he was talking to the ER chief, not me, who kindly reiterated what I said about the new policy. About half an hour later the direct line rang and the clerk told me that doc wanted to speak to me. I covered my face and moaned "I'm dead."

    Could have knocked me over with a feather when he apologized profusely for not listening to what I was trying to say!
  13. by   SharonH, RN
    yes, I've had a physician apologize to me on more than one occasion either for bad behavior or a rude outburst so I was owed an apology. The real shame is that we have become so accustomed to the bad behavior that we have to gush when one doesn't act like a jackal.
  14. by   CVICURN2003
    Yes. Especially, when they learn that you snap back. I work with CT and vascular surgeons. At my hospital, they think they are God. Usually, you "earn" their respect. if they are crappy to a new nurse or one of our secretaries(like what happened yesterday) one of the older nurses will usually point out that their behavior was bad. And 9/10 they apologize. The one doc who laid into one of our "baby" nurses about four of us seasoned nurses instantly converged in the room (you can tell by his face his mood). He immediatley fixed his attitude. One thing I can say about my coworkers is we won't tolerate that from the docs. But, yes, they do apologize.

close