Three Days as an ER Doc...a Window into Us.

Three Days as an ER Doc...a Window into Us.

Three Days as an ER Doc...a Window into Us.

“No, that's not monkeypox, that’s poison ivy.”

“I took care of you before? I must have done something right, you're still alive.”

“You’re the new medical student? Welcome to the ER, one rule, don’t kill anybody. “

“Ma’am I don’t know the details of that case, but your son is not going to wake up from this, the bullet did way too much damage to his brain.”

“You took fentanyl. I know you thought  it was Xanax, but it wasn’t…it was fentanyl. “

“Yeah get me a turkey sandwich from the doctors lounge, would ya.”

“It’s covid.”

“You do know that finding nothing on your tests is a good thing….I could be telling you that you have pancreatic cancer.”

“It’s covid.”

“You can tell them love them yourself…you’re not dying today. Way too much paperwork. “

“It’s probably covid.“

“Dude we’ll get you to the stress center, you’ll be fine.  Trust me, everyone goes through some kind of shit eventually.”

“You know it’s bad for you right? Says so on the box.”

“You’re ninety-five? How do you look so good at ninety-five?”

“I’m so sorry, but he’s died.”

“I have no idea what’s going on, but I know what you don’t have and that’s just as important. “

“We don’t need to drug test him…he’s smoking weed. Tell your mom you’re smoking weed so I can get you outta here.”

“You’re having a heart attack but we’re gonna get you to cath lab, open that vessel up, you’ll be alright”

“You do know it’s ok to let your mom go, not all love involves doing everything. “

“ Sweetie cover yourself up you don’t want to show yourself to the world.”

“ You interested in talking to social services, see if maybe we can get you some help?”

“You hate it? I gotta eat with this finger.”

“ What's a long time? A day, a week, a month, a year?”

“How in the world do you not know who Guns N Roses are?”

“ What did Google say I should treat you with?”

“Oh my god, get some deodorizer and some fans in here, it smells like a dead body mixed with dirty socks and litter box.”

“ I bet it’s meth.”


“You vaccinated for Covid…what about flu?”

“It’s not that we don’t have a room for you, we don’t have any nurses to staff those rooms.”

“We’re out of labetalol.”

“We’re out of Ativan.”

“It would never have been like this if the nuns were still here.”

“Turn the TV to Judge Judy and I promise the patient will stop hitting the call button.”

“Looks like rapid a-fib to me.”

“Yeah large, one cream, here’s my pass card “

“Couldn’t find parking. “

“Tell the coroner I’ll sign the death certificate.“

“Put him in 4 way restraints.“

“20 etomidate, 60 of roc, get me suction, 8.0 tube.”

“She’s eighty…how do you think she broke her hip…driving a forklift?”

“Big clot, some right heart strain…you want to lyse it or just stick with lovenox.”

“Charging… clear…clear.”

“Any possibility you’re pregnant.”

“You do know that’s how you get pregnant right?”

“Who you thinking about killing besides yourself?”

“He’s a solid 600 lbs Too big for the scanner”

“Smells like a GI bleed.”

“You’re pregnant.”

“Did she tell you if she wanted to be put on life support?“

“You're vomiting because of weed, it’s called cannabis hyperemesis.”

“Yeah I’m a bit worried that her broken arm is abuse, some odd dynamics with her husband.”

“Listen, she’s back because you guys didn’t address the issue the last time she was in the hospital.”

“Donde esta su dolor?”

“We’re boarding like 20 patients right now because there are no nurses upstairs.”

“I’m not giving you dilaudid.”

“You’ll be fine, trust me I know, I’m a doctor it says so on my badge.”

“How bout I get you a blanket from the warmer.”

“Can you page pastoral care?”

“Yeah, that’s the look of death.”

“Is this your typical sickle pain?”

“Squeeze your eyes shut tight, wrinkle your forehead.”

“No way she doesn’t have a cancer in there.”

“Sad…kid’s about my kid’s age.”

“I’m telling you, older I get the younger heart attack patients seem.”

“Cute baby, this one wins the cute kid of the day award.”

“Someone delivered pizzas, back in the conference room.”

“Does he have a gag reflex.”

“Upgrade to trauma code 1.”

“Don’t tell me we are out of cetriaxone too?”

“No way she can take care of herself, call case management”

“Are you homeless?”

“Is he drunk?”

“I need some help here!”

“Medic 10, Dr. Profeta, go ahead with your traffic.”

“Let them sign out AMA. He’s an adult.”

“It’s a virus, you don’t need antibiotics, you’re gonna give yourself c. diff diarrhea,I have no idea why the med check wrote you an antibiotic for this in the past.”

“You can save yourself a ton of money and time in the future by just getting a home pregnancy test, it’s the same thing we use.”

“We wouldn’t call in MRI emergently for this, even if he does have an important baseball game tomorrow.”

“Did you try calling one of the 24 hour immediate dental places?”

“How many times you been pregnant…how many babies you got…what happened with the other pregnancies?”

“What year med student…what do you want to be when you grow up?”

“Computer is down again.”

“I’ll retire when I no longer like it…and I kind of still love being an ER doc…and I owe it to my community in a way to keep going.”

“See ya guys…good shift.”

Dr. Louis M. Profeta is an emergency physician practicing in Indianapolis and a member of the Indianapolis Forensic Services Board. He is a national award-winning writer, public speaker and one of LinkedIn's Top Voices and the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Patient in Room Nine Says He's God. Feedback at is welcomed. For other publications and for speaking dates, go to For college speaking inquiries, contact


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Louis M. Profeta

Healthcare Expert

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.

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