Ch. 5 – The story behind the story

A 38 year old woman with abdominal pain

How did we get this case?

I had heard Gillian on the Risk Management Monthly program (with Mel Herbert, Greg Henry, Rick Bukata) discussing her feelings about receiving that ‘letter in the mail’. She cared for this patient when she was a resident, though the patient was cared for by multiple doctors. On the program she discussed her feelings about being sued, but there was not an indepth discussion about the case.

I ‘googled’ then called her and she was enthusiastic about using the case for the book. After about 3 million calls to the hospital, permission by the patient, and multiple discussions with medical records, I received a packet of charts. The case was good! It highlights the issue of supervision and teaching of residents, coordination of care with radiology and specialists, and what to do with incidental (or non-incidental) findings on CT scans!

Gillian was wonderful to work with and we spoke several times (one call was while I was waiting in line and then ordering Chipotle Grill for the family – sorry Gillian), she has since published articles on treatment of MRSA in the community:

How Do You Treat an Abscess in the Era of Increased Community-associated Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)?

Gillian R Schmitz in The Journal of emergency medicine (2011)