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More Voices


Every month More Voices invites readers to contribute short nonfiction prose pieces of 40 to 400 words on a healthcare theme.

submittomorevoices

“Dr. Eisenberg, line 6, Dr. B,” I hear over the office intercom. What? The chairman calling me?

And in that split second, as I braced for impact, my life flashed before my eyes. What did I do? My mind could only fathom the worst.

Did a delivery go bad? I can't think of any. Did I do a c-section that wasn't indicated? Is there a baby that didn't do well? Is there a resident or nurse complaining about something I did?

The questions kept coming, my heart was racing and I started to sweat. I looked at my patient and said, “Please get dressed, I will be back in a moment.”

I felt like I was moving in slow motion: opening the door, walking out, closing the door, walking to the phone. The chairman has never personally called me, this has to be bad. I clicked on to line 6 and stammered: “Hello, this is Andrea Eisenberg.”

In a gravelly voice, he said, “Ah, Andrea, I have something delicate to, ah, tell you.” The phone nearly slips out of my hand. “Ah, a few people in labor and delivery have complained about the, ah, perfume you wear. You know, ah, I had that happen once to me with a certain cologne….”

I stopped listening, hung up and have never been called by the chairman again.

Andrea Eisenberg
Bloomfield, Michigan