The obstetric resident and the avoidable lawsuit (Coverys)


Dr. Frank Mills was a 34-year old obstetrics resident who had lived most of his life near his parents in Richmond, California.

Recently, he had moved to Miami, where he lived in a 3-bedroom house with a pool, and spent weekends hosting small parties and barbeques.

Dr. Mills was friendly and charming, but could sometimes come across as arrogant and boastful.

He enjoyed medicine, but his real passions in life were cooking, surfing, and ping pong - in that order.

It was another night in the maternity unit.

In front of the coffee machine, Dr. Mills was talking his with his colleague Dr. Holt about a party he was planning for the 4th of July.

A few moments later, a nurse approached them and said, “Dr. Mills, we have a 37-years-old woman who’s 39 weeks pregnant and hypertensive.”

Dr. Mills said he’d be there in a moment, and then resumed his conversation with Dr. Holt:

“So, what do you say?

You should come by on Saturday night.

It’s going to be the best 4th of July ever!”

He smiled and went to see the patient.

“Hello there, my name is Dr. Mills.

What seems to be the problem?” he asked the frightened woman.

The woman explained that over the past few days she’s been having blurry vision, a pounding headache, and feeling more anxious.

She was spending the weekend with family and thought the symptoms were from being sleep deprived.

She didn’t want to worry her parents, so she waited until today to check her blood pressure back at her home.

Normally her blood pressure was around 120/80, but today it was 155/100.

She knew that she was supposed to call if that happened, so she called and was told to come in.

Dr. Mills calmed her down and explained the plan, “We’ll be admitting you to the hospital and doing some lab tests to make sure that you and the baby are safe”.

The woman agreed.