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Bill Knows the Score

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“Donuts again, Cindy?” Cardiology plucked the last Boston cream donut out of the charge nurse’s fingers and dropped it unceremoniously in the trash can. “You know those things will kill you,” he chided. “I’m telling you, you need to get on the Mediterranean diet; it has changed my life.”

“Are you here for the consult I called?” Bill swooped in before Cindy went into full Hulk mode, leading Cardiology down the hall to his patient’s room.

“So I am.” Cardiology crossed his arms across his chest and raised one smarmy eyebrow at Bill. “What’d you do this time, Bill?”

“It’s not me, I swear!” Bill held up his hands defensively. “Neurology lowered the Lasix dosage on your CHF admit, and now her lungs are full of crackles.”

“Seriously?” Cardiology rounded on him. “What kind of doctor consults Neurology on a patient in congestive heart failure?”

“She has about one functioning nephron and is on a waiting list for a kidney transplant,” Bill started to protest before realizing that arguing would do nothing to help his patient. “Thank you for your assistance with this case,” he weakly concluded.

Cardiology smirked at him. “Thank you for the consult. And you’re welcome.” He gestured to the rest of his team and led them into the patient’s room.

Bill was sick of how the specialists at Glaucomflecken hospital treated him: like he was a complete idiot for not practicing in their specialty of choice. They all thought they were better than him just because they had mastered a single area, but none of them could possibly manage a complete patient. They viewed patients as if they consisted of a single organ or diagnosis, as if humans weren’t a complex interplay of multiple interdependent systems.

None of them could do what he did. Could Ophthalmology run a Code Blue? Could Rheumatology sit and explain to worried family members why their loved one had been taken to emergency surgery? Could any of them manage a patient with multiple complex comorbidities?

(Well, Critical Care could do all of that and more, but Bill was just grateful he wasn’t assigned to the ICU, particularly these days.)

Worst of all, they all acted as if they owned the hospital, but were completely dismissive toward the people who really kept the hospital afloat.

Bill walked back to the nurses’ station, shaking his head. “Cardiology’s a real douche,” he admitted to Cindy. 

“You’re telling me.” She rolled her eyes. 

He reached across the counter and pulled out the binder of take out menus. “Where do you want to order lunch from today? Your choice; my treat.” He leaned forward confidentially. “I know where Cardiology’s break room is; I did a rotation with them when I was an intern. Want to sneak in and help me tape up the height adjustment levers on their office chairs so they sink to the lowest level every time they sit down?”

Cindy cackled. “You’re a good egg, Bill. I’m in.”