Reality of the ED

Today I read this snippet, via

NEW YORK – Two teens went to an emergency room complaining of pain, but police say they really wanted pills, needles and medical supplies from the Staten Island hospital.

Police say the pair found a sealed box in an emergency room cabinet, opened it and took medicine and supplies. A witness told a hospital security guard, who called police.

Which reminded me of a recent blog post by one of the very best blog writers, Dr. Edwin Leap:

The average person, the normal citizen, the otherwise functional patient has no idea of the remarkable degree of dysfunction and deception we see in the modern emergency department. Furthermore, they have no idea of the incredible boldness, the unflinching willingness to lie, misrepresent and manipulate to get what they want; and get it all for no charge.

There’s a reason EM types are a little jaded.


  1. You know how police departments occasional have ride-along programs for students, journalists, etc. so laymen can get an appreciation for what an average day is for a peace officer? If there isn’t an equivalent for ED personnel, there should be.

    Not that I have vacation to burn, but I’d spend a vacation day in an ED just to see how it worked, maybe a day at the courthouse to see how the legal system works. If anything, I’d like to see how things have changed since Emergency! was on the air.

    Don’t tell anyone, but back in the day I wanted to be Randolph Mantooth when I grew up.

  2. Everybody wanted to be Johnny Gage (even me); I turned out to be Roy (Kevin Tighe).

  3. Grunt Doc,
    Interesting topic as usual. What blows my mind is that while many ER’s are careful to lock up every drug from bicarb to morphine, most of the time the tincture of cocaine is unlocked in the epistaxis kit.

  4. I never thought about the “non-medical” issues inside of the ED. It is interesting and sad that things like this go on. It would be interesting to see what other types of things go on.


  1. Reality of the ED…

    There’s a reason EM types are a little jaded….