My friends in the EMS world are well versed in the concept of the Hippocratic Oath. For the layperson, here’s the gist:
I’ll do my best not to kill you.
Okay, so that’s an extremely boiled down version and there’s more to it than that, but you get the point. It is a widely held belief that the Father of Western Medicine, Hippocrates, came up with this little spiel around the 4th or 5th century, B.C. The point being that doctors are supposed to do their best to help. That was not the attitude to which I was exposed this past Thursday.
I was doing a little Click it or Ticket OT (thank you, OTS) when I stopped a guy for…wait for it…not wearing his seat belt. I briefly touched on it on the MC Facebook page, but this warranted its own post. Buckle up (pun intended)…
I was sitting on the southeast corner of a well traveled road. I was about 15′ from the northbound lane and clearly saw the driver of a late 90’s Saab not wearing his seat belt. I clearly saw the belt slack against the b-pillar of the vehicle. In addition, he was wearing a white shirt with a small checkered pattern (but, predominantly white) and the seat belt was dark gray. There was no color contrast crossing his chest as one would typically see when the seat belt is worn properly.
Commence traffic stop…
MC: Evening, do you know why I stopped you?
HDD (to be explained): No.
MC: You weren’t wearing your seat belt (it was now on, by the way, highlighting the now present difference of the contrasting colors).
HDD (typical look down at seat belt): I have it on.
MC (in an attempt to give the driver an opportunity to be honest): True, sir. Unfortunately, you didn’t as you passed me and put it on after the fact, right?
HDD: No. Perhaps you saw me reaching back for my phone?
MC: Are you telling me you were also talking on the phone? Never mind, I see your ear piece.
HDD: Did you see me talking?
MC: No, sir, I sure didn’t; however, I also wasn’t looking at your mouth. I was looking at you not wearing your seat belt. I don’t particularly like being lied to, sir, I need your license, registration, and insurance.
**I went back to the bike to write the ticket and returned a couple minutes later.**
MC: Okay, sir, I need you to sign the highlighted yellow portion at the bottom. This isn’t a moving violation and it isn’t a point on your license, so you needn’t worry about traffic school.
HDD: I’m a trauma surgeon at St. Furthest (credit: HM). I’ve worked on you guys a lot and I’ll continue to do my job…
MC: Well, that’s great, sir, and I appreciate that. I’ll continue to do mine as well.
HDD: But, you’re not doing your job…
MC (already seeing where this is headed): Hang on a second, there, sir. I’m starting to get a little bit of attitude from you. Are you telling me that because you’ve worked on some police officers that you should get a little kickback? Is that what I’m hearing right now?
HDD: Well, I just hope you don’t ever need my services.
MC: Excuse me?!? Are you saying that if I have the misfortune of ending up injured and on your table, you wouldn’t do your God’s honest level best to help me or my family?
HDD (Hypocritical Douche-bag Doctor): Yes.
MC (incredulously): Well that’s just fantastic, sir. You know what, buckle up, drive safe and please, take this to court. I’d love to tell the judge what you just told me.
As I walked away (frankly amazed that I didn’t blow my friggin’ top, by the way), I heard him say something. Not being able to help myself, I walked back.
MC: What’s that?
HDD: You’re a liar.
MC: Is that what I am? Fair enough. Good luck to you now, sir, I’m going to leave now before I say something that’s going to get me into trouble.
I walked back to the bike to write my notes. Then it occurred to me…I get completely fabricated bullshit complaints because people get pissed about getting a ticket and think that by complaining, they can get themselves out of trouble (or at least share the wealth). Here’s a time when someone threatened me with possible future harm. Well, that just ain’t gonna fly.
MC (returned to car): Sir, I need to see your business card again, please.
MC: Oh, because I’m going to contact the CA medical board and the powers that be at St. Furthest and make sure they are aware of how you feel about me.
Did I forget to mention he’s a plastic surgeon? Yeah…and I knew that because he didn’t have his driver’s license with him. You know, like the law requires? I was kind enough to give him a warning on that one. Because I’m a giver and not a hypocritical douche. So, it sounds to me like he’s not an ER doc, but rather a cleanup guy. I was amazed that I didn’t crack, “Well, sir, since I’m unlikely to need either botox or boobs, I think I’m all set and won’t need your services.”