VANCOUVER — Surgeons who like to sing while they cut and sew in the operating room should feel encouraged after the B.C. Health Professions Review Board dismissed a complaint from a patient offended by his eye surgeon’s vocals.
The unnamed cataract surgery patient filed a complaint to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. after the procedure in May 2011. Since he was awake the whole time, the patient could hear everything.
He said he heard his surgeon not only singing while implanting a new lens, but also discussing with others in the operating room his plans to take home hospital’s linens, so he could wash his car with them.
Surgical towels were out of their packages, but unused.
Typically, they are disposed of in such cases, so a lighthearted conversation ensued over ways to recycle them, rather than throwing them out, according to the College.
The precise song and the quality of the surgeon’s singing voice is not mentioned.
And all identities are concealed in the case, which was originally dismissed by the College and then reconsidered by the Review Board upon appeal.
Dr. Shelley Ross, president of the B.C. Medical Association, agrees with the outcome.
“From one who has spent many years in the OR, the time the patient should get concerned is when the singing or talking stops and there is complete silence,” she said in an email.
David Hobbs, chairman of the review board panel, said the complainant thought the surgeon’s singing and chatter was “unacceptable, arrogant, disrespectful and shameful.”
Even so, the review board agreed with the College that the complaint was trivial.
© Copyright 2013