Dr Louis M. Profeta is an emergency physician practicing in Indianapolis. He is one of LinkedIn's Top Voices and the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Patient in Room Nine Says He's God. Dr Louis holds a medical degree from the Indiana University Bloomington.
She was conned out of her life savings—perhaps it was a lawyer representing a banker in Togo, or a rich Nigerian benefactor. Perhaps it was someone claiming to be dying from cancer, or a contractor insisting she needed a new roof; perhaps it was promises of incredible returns on investments for a doomed-to-fail startup that sold cell phones or other tech du jour. Perhaps it was Bernie Madoff, or Tim Durham, or dozens of their friends and ilk who partied with them over the years on their hooker-filled junkets in Vegas or turned blind eyes as they huddled around craps tables with them while they knowingly snickered about the rubes.
She was African-American, in her mid-50s, lying in bed in no particular distress—though she should have been. Well made-up and conservatively stylish, she looked as if she was heading to, or perhaps from, church. She had an obvious broken leg from the head-on car accident she had just been in. I had already seen the photos on the paramedic’s phone and I simply could not believe this lady had been in that car. She should have been in pieces.
About twenty years ago, after an ice storm hit our city, our Emergency Room physicians recognized a gap in our community’s public health awareness and safety preparedness and set about trying to make a difference through a very creative partnership with the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and our Emergency Department.
When I was approached by Dr. K Kay Moody asking me to consider writing a piece about the subject, I instantly felt a bit guilty for not recognizing that domestic violence against physicians was an issue beyond some domestic abuse statistical outlier. Dr. K Kay Moody had become somewhat of a social media celebrity in the field of Emergency Medicine having started and currently serving the unenviable task of moderating a Facebook group of nearly 20,000 Emergency Physicians. Trust me when I say that I know ER docs, and the prison warden at Attica has it easier than Kay. Consequently though, she had her finger on the pulsating carotid of the Emergency Medicine community and she knew that many were still reeling with grief and some reached out to her.
I spoke recently at Marian University School of Medicine, one of those “older doc speaks to younger doc” career path kinda talks. I explained how I really didn’t know shit about medicine when I started medical school in the ‘80s, and how it seemed that one minute I was doing shots at a football tailgate in college and the next I was plopped right down in the middle of the AIDS epidemic, perhaps the first time in my career when I really started to understand what it meant to be a doctor.