Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Memories...



Dr. Balboa was a cardiologist at my medical school. He was good at what he did.

Unfortunately, he also had a confrontational personality, short temper, and complete inability to back down from conflict. These are not good traits to have when you're just over 5 feet tall, slender, and have absolutely no training in Karate/Kung Fu/Krav Maga/whatever.

So, on a relatively frequent basis, the hospital ER docs were used to sewing him up for injuries sustained in bar fights, traffic altercations, or any number of minor arguments that he escalated to stupid levels.

One night, during my 4th year cardiology rotation, I was also covering an ER shift for a friend who needed to trade. And, of course, Dr. Balboa came in. He'd been at a sports bar and the waitress accidentally knocked over his drink. Rather than accepting a replacement, he decided to hash it out with the bouncer. Which is never a good idea.

Since the inner-city ER was swamped, he was stuck with having me sew him up (or wait a few hours for a real doctor, or go to another ER). Hey, it wasn't something I wanted to do either, but I was stuck.

So, while I'm trying my best to professionally put in stitches, he began telling me what I was doing wrong, grilling me about the patients on our cardiology service, pimping me on side effects and half-lives of various drugs, and arguing with no one in particular about how today's medical students weren't as tough as they used to be. None of which helped keep me focused on the job at hand.

After he was discharged, I went back to the staff lounge to get some coffee. The window there looked over the parking lot. As I watched, Dr. Balboa went out to his BMW and began arguing with a guy who'd set a Gatorade bottle on its roof.

Five minutes later he was back in triage with a broken wrist.

9 comments:

Packer said...

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/survivor/eyeofthetiger.html


Love the concept of a bi-polar manic depressive self medicating alcoholic with anger management issues training other physicians. Heck they could make a TV show out of it, call it House or something like that.

Mad Jack said...

Even if you are trained in the secret oriental art of Whak Sume Guy and own the coveted 8th degree black belt, you should know that size matters. A lot. If it didn't, why have so many weight classes in professional boxing?

Getting busted up on a regular basis isn't a good idea no matter which way you slice it. Even experienced brawlers give everyone a chance or two to cool off. Clothes cost money and skin takes a long time to heal.

Not being able to admit you're wrong about something is not conducive to learning a new skill, improving a skill set you already have or keeping current on new techniques.

This Dr. Balboa seems may be smart enough to be a doctor, but he's also carrying around a mental illness of some sort.

The Patient Doc said...

I wonder how he treats his patients, especially when they disagree with him. Scary.

PediNP said...

Wow. I can't imagine how he treats the nurses when they call him to clarify his orders. And I'm amazed that he's on staff at any hospital!

Anonymous said...

So Dr Balboa is not the third doctor in the previous news article I'm guessing...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a very bad case of "little man syndrome" to me, and so far hasn't learned to keep his Big Mouth shut.

awesomesauciness said...

PLEASE tell me he gave up his practice and is now part of the MWL (Midget Wrestling League - if it's not a thing, it will be...just watch). PLEASE?

Anonymous said...

Classic alcoholic behavior. Sure he has skills that he can perform even with a BAC of .35 but he is begging for help. Too bad most people will just assume he is a asshole. The key words in this is bar fight.

Anonymous said...

My friend from pharmacy school with short man syndrome went on to dentistry. He'd trained as a professional in boxing, though. So, he managed to keep his brains unscrambled.

 
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