There is always a bit of tension between a few staff members. It's present in any large organization and hospitals are no exception. This holds even more true in the ER, where the usual interpersonal relationships and disagreements are set against a backdrop of tragedy, loss, pain, crisis, and high emotion. So when differences in opinion migrate towards verbal disagreement or actual arguments, no one is too surprised - this isn't condoning the disagreements, just acknowledging that sometimes shit gets real.
So imagine my surprise the other night when shit got reeeaall.
An on-call resident pitched an absolute fit when he was dragged out of bed at 0400 to consult on a perfectly legitimate patient. He whined over the phone for a few minutes and then said he would be in shortly - I thought the story ended here. No, sir. It did not. When he showed up thirty minutes later he went absolutely ballistic in front of the patient, yelling at the ER attending for what he considered a BS consult and how it was the epitome of all things awful to have called the consult in the first place. The attending took it pretty well. He maneuvered the resident into the hallway for some privacy, and then proceeded to tear apart the resident for thinking himself so arrogant.
A few highlights of the new asshole-ripping the resident received:
"I've been an ER attending for 18 years. You've been a resident for two. Come back to me and decline a consult when you're actually a real doctor."
"I'm friends with your attending. I'll be sure to mention this gross absence of professionalism when I see him next week."
"If you ever, ever act that way again in front of a patient of mine, I will see to it that you are out of this residency program so fast you'll wonder what the hell happened to your life. Are we clear?"
I'm telling you folks, it was one of the most epic things I've ever witnessed.
**I should note that this is probably not an unusual scene to those who have worked at a teaching hospital before, but I've never worked with residents before this assignment. Thus, epic.