Ob-Gyn Who Complained About Patient on Facebook May Get Fired

Say What!? 117

An OB-GYN in St. Louis has inadvertently ignited an Internet flame war by venting about a tardy patient on her Facebook page. Dr. Amy Dunbar posted, "I have a patient who has chosen to either no-show or be late (sometimes hours) for all of her prenatal visits, ultrasounds and NSTs. She is now three hours late for her induction. May I show up late for her delivery?"

The hospital reprimanded her for her “unprofessional conduct,” but some people are saying that’s not enough and she should be fired for violating doctor/patient confidentiality (she also posted that the woman had had a stillbirth -- although I’m not sure how they figured that out if no names were used).

Or, maybe everyone could take a chill pill and realize that if someone doesn’t want to be called out for being late, they should strive for punctuality. So maybe this doctor shouldn’t have posted her complaint publically, but it’s definitely not a health privacy issue.

Most of us kibitz about stuff on Facebook. It’s a great venting forum, and smart people don’t use names. Really smart people inject humor. Dr. Dunbar was frustrated with her perpetually late patient, so she made a joke about it and shared it with her friends online. Why are patients allowed to complain about doctors being late, but not the other way around?

This whole thing is being blown out of proportion, and she should definitely not lose her job over it. She got in trouble at work, and the hospital even went back and combed through several months of posts to see if there were any other ethical violations.

The thing about social media is that it’s social. We use it to connect to one another, and once we start saying that we can’t complain about our crappy days and get some sympathy from friends, we’re denying ourselves the human experience. Like it or not, social networks are the new water cooler. Just be careful with what you say, because the digital equivalent of, “She’s standing right behind me, isn’t she?” is much more prevalent online than in real life.

Do you think this doctor should be fired for posting on Facebook that her patient was late (again)?

Image via comedy-nose/Flickr

bad habits, doctors, obgyn, stress


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three... threeforme157

I live in St Louis and saw this posted on my local news Facebook page.  I can't believe all the people who said that the Dr should be fired.  Everyone should be focused on the fact that this mother to be cannot be responsible enough to make it to a Dr appointment on time.  She is going to be responsible for a human being!  The Dr has a right to complain, it is her private Facebook page.  Plus all those other women who have their  appointments because this tardy woman thinks that the world should revolve around her schedule.   Ain't nobody got time for that!

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

The client was 2 hours late... *sigh*

I think the doc was unprofessional in her post, but putting myself in her place- the patient was a jerk.

chech... chechimansmama

Over reaction much... what was the reasoning for always being late or being a no show. There isn't.. its rude and shows no respect for the Dr and other patients. She shouldn't have been reprimanded she's allowed to bitch and complain like n e other person out there.

Venae Venae

I can totally understand her doing so - this patient would be suing the pants off this doctor if anything happened during delivery - despite her not showing up for appointments, etc. - doctor is frustrated w/her patient - can't blame her!


nonmember avatar kaerae

Can't people have a single private thought in their heads anymore? It's like we can't feel or think anything without making sure SOMEONE knows about it. It's very creepy and de-humanizing.

Maias... MaiasMommy619

No names were used, no privacy laws were broken.. She was letting of some steam!! I'm sure if the girl had issues with transportation the doctor and the office already knows about the issue since she's was late to every one of her appts! So I'm going to assume that there were no good excuses..she's just late.. Like always. I don't think the doc should be fired for this. There are far worse things a doc can do and still not get fired for it... This is just a Facebook post that someone wanted to blow up and make it bigger than what it is.

Maias... MaiasMommy619

Also a doctors time is very valuable! She's an OB GYN!!! She's got patients all day and night! The patient was being induced!! The patient was in the wrong!

Mazie... Mazie0723

Wow the world is becoming nuts. She didn't do anything illegal. So now dh can't complain about customers on facebook for fear of losing his job? I bitch all the time about doctors and people I come in contact with why is this any different? she is a person who just happens to be a doctor had she said names then I can see her getting in trouble.

da_mi... da_miranda

doctors try to be as professional as they could be. so why dont patient be professional patient either..? that would make sense.. not only being professional, everyone have their right to be "only human" so using no name policy and a lil bit of sarkasm is all okay for me..


Meg LeRoy Schlagenhauf

I don't see anything wrong with a doctor venting about a patient being consistently late or a no-show for prenatal appointments.  I DO see something wrong with her posting about how her patient had a previous stillbirth.  Even though she didn't post any identifying information, she did post about her patients medical history, and I think for that she should be reprimanded. 

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