Sitting in a small waiting room before a doctor’s appointment, I observed the following exchange. A distinguished looking gentleman entered the waiting area. He appeared to be in his 60s, was dressed in an expensive looking suit carrying a large briefcase. He walked up to the receptionist and loudly declared “I’m here for the deposition.” A patient sitting adjacent to me looked around and said “Holy Shit!” He nudged the lady next to him and said “Did you hear that? One of the doctors is being sued!” Anyone who missed the attorney’s declaration clearly heard the message from patient zero. Now the attorney had more than my attention, all eyes were on him.
A few minutes later, a woman walked in. She was crisply groomed, dressed in a designer suit, pulling a wheeled briefcase. My guess – attorney #2. She was wearing a medical boot on her left foot that went all the way up to her knee. Based on the specialty of the office, one of the doctors could have treated her – including the doctor who was being sued. After a minute or so of pleasantries between the two attorneys, the nurses buzzed her through to the back. Based on this, I discerned the gentleman was for the prosecution and the woman for the defense.
The prosecuting attorney stood around for a few more minutes. He was clearly becoming exasperated, taking deep breaths, shaking his head, frowning, looking at his watch. He went back to the receptionist and asked if he could use their phone – his cell wasn’t working. When he made the call, it went something like this. He was talking loudly to ensure the people in the waiting room heard every word.
“Hi. I’m still waiting, apparently Dr. Seuss (name changed to protect the innocent) is running late. He should be here in about 10 minutes.”
When the prosecuting attorney identified the doctor who was being sued, it was just as easy to tell which patients were his as it was to identify those who saw a different doctor. But there’s more.
“Please call Dan Crumbley and give him an update. DAN CRUMBLEY – C – R – U – M – B – L – E – Y. He’s the patient.”
So much for patient confidentiality and attorney-client privilege.
Unfortunately, I missed the rest of the show because I was called in to see my doctor, who was NOT being sued – at least by this guy. I have to say, this was the most interesting waiting room experience I’ve ever had.
May the farce be with you!