You've probably heard of the video that went viral last week: a fourth-year Neurology resident from Miami was drunk and she physically abused an Uber driver. Dr. Anjali Ramkissoon has been placed on administrative leave pending further investigation. Her possible penalties include explusion. A termination from residency would mean that she would have to complete her studies at another program, if any would take her. It's quite possible that this incident could prevent Dr. Ramkissoon from ever practicing medicine. What do you think about that? Let's break down the video and what is getting the public angry. She certainly appears impaired by alcohol, which isn't a crime in and of itself. She slaps and kicks the driver without provocation, which would be a crime if he pressed charges (he did not). She is verablly abusive to the driver and comes off as condescending, which is just a crime in the court of public opinion. Technically speaking, there is nothing about this incident that would have warranted a leave of absence and possible termination except for one: it was caught on video. Her unfortunate behavior, which is both physically and verbally abusive, is enough to earn our ire even without a formal complaint from the driver or the police. But what really made this story go viral was, as the infamous lion-hunting dentist can attest to, the fact that health-care professionals are held to higher standards. The public is repulsed by the idea that someone who should be a respected member of a community, who holds their well-being in thier hands, could do harm. Here's the interesting point for us to follow. If she had been formally convicted of a DUI she may have faced similar consequences with her residency program; however, the whole affair would have probably occured quietly. One could argue that it's better to have a private incident result in minor charges rather that a public incident result in no charges.
This article first appeared in DE's Expert Tips & Tricks. To see past issues or to subscribe, visit dentistryiq.com/newsletter. For more Practice Management articles, visit dentistryiq.com/practice-management.
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