At Good Feelings Hospital in Jackson, MS, Zachary Stone, MD, dermatologist, gets high ratings from his patients, however, his colleagues find him a little gross.
Dr. Stone likes to talk about boogers and bile most of the time. Physicians normally see stuff like boogers and bile. But, according to his colleagues, Dr. Stone weaves stories about his own boogers and bile into conversations. And he has no filter about the situation.
Patricia Turnsteen, DO, otolaryngologist, gives an explanation. “I think of myself as a booger whisperer! Boogers are not flattering, but I enjoy helping my patients. Once I was sitting with Dr. Stone for lunch. I was eating grapes, and Dr. Stone used his right index finger to dig a huge booger from his nose. It looked like he was trying to do a brain biopsy through his right nostril. There are so many other places to dig and excavate boogers – like in private – duh!”
Dr. Turnsteen’s sense of transparency is appreciated, but certainly not unique as another colleague of Dr. Stone, Steven Holton, MD, gastroenterologist, shares a story like that of Dr. Turnsteen.
Dr. Holton comments, “Dr. Stone is a top physician in his field. He has even treated my children’s rashes. However, at a hospital social event, I was talking with the chair of gastroenterology and the hospital president. Dr. Stone walks up and begins talking about bile. He spoke about a time when he vomited persistently, and he expelled bile. The rest of us were eating hors d’oerves. Dr. Stone was so detailed about the bile that the hospital president got sick to his stomach. Someone should talk to Dr. Stone.”
John Fraction, MD medical staff president, explains that an intervention is not meant to be punitive. “The medical executive committee is committed to having a healthy medical staff. With Dr. Stone discussing boogers and bile, many of our physicians are simply grossed out. We do not want to change Dr. Stone. We do want him to choose a better time to discuss gross topics. He needs a filter.”
The medical executive committee and Dr. Fraction do not know how to give Dr. Stone a filter. The intervention will focus on expressing physician concerns.