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 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.
She kept her head tilted slightly down so I could not see her face. She was young, perhaps 20, with silky hair and smooth skin, and bright green eyes. She looked like a girl that if she had been born to a family of means would have walked the halls of school as an alpha gal, perhaps as the student body president, captain of the cheerleading squad or a star long distance runner … perhaps. Instead, she wore clothes, mostly clean, that had a bit of the dressed up Goodwill look to them trying to mimic the fashion of the day.
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