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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Paramedics Versus Doctors


My personal encounter with paramedics occurred the day I fell (ironically during my morning exercise walk) and broke my hip. I might have lain there for some time because pedestrians in my middle-class neighborhood ignore the occasional bearded old man lounging on the sidewalk. Luckily, I had taken a detour through an alley behind a restaurant where two Hispanic workers noticed, came to my aid, and called 911.

I was not in great pain as long as the leg remained immobile. Any movement hurt terribly. When the paramedics approached with their gurney, I was frightened, but they scooped me up, drove to a hospital, and shifted me to another gurney with hardly a twinge. Never mind their medical skills; that showed talent.

While I admire paramedics, they have little use for me in my capacity as a hotel doctor. Paramedics almost never encounter a physician on their calls, and they don’t like finding one. Most likely, they worry he might pull rank. As a result, when paramedics arrive at my hotels, I sit quietly, never speaking unless spoken to. In turn, the paramedics go about their business, pretending I’m not there.

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