Post-grad intern defends ‘texting doctor’ in viral photo

  • A netizen shared a photo suggesting that the doctor was texting while attending to a patient in emergency
  • A post graduate intern defended the doctor in the photo; saying the latter may have been texting but it was certainly not for entertainment
  • She also urged everyone on social media to stop posting misleading photos of doctors and should give these medical practitioners the privacy and respect they deserve
Image capture of Ms. Pitoy's Facebook post
Image capture of Ms. Pitoy’s Facebook post

MANILA, Philippines – A post graduate intern has come to the defense of a doctor whose ‘texting’ photo while attending to a patient in an emergency situation went viral on social media after it was uploaded by one netizen.

The sharer of the photo in question is a sibling of the patient and her post appears to suggest that the doctor kept himself busy on his phone while her sister was ‘close to dying’.

“I’m serious. When we arrived at the ER, her oxygen level was 39. And yet her doctor does this,” the sharer claimed in her post.

But one Marnelli Pineda Pitoy, who introduced herself as a post graduate intern, took exception at the sharer’s claim that the doctor in the photo was negligent of his duty to attend to a patient who is in desperate need of medical attention.

Pitoy explained that post graduate interns like her are the frontliners in ER – the first ones to talk, interview, examine and attend to every patient.

“But as Interns, we are still not licensed that’s why we can’t give treatment to any patient without supervision. We still need guidance from a higher boss doctor which is either a resident doctor or a higher doctor,” she wrote on her Facebook.

This is the reason why, she said, with every patient they attend to, they need to inform their seniors about every detail and update them every now and then regarding the status of every patient.

Certainly not for entertainment

According to Pitoy, the doctor in the picture is clearly attending to the patient in need.

“What else would he be doing standing inside that room? If that doctor is just killing time and doing non work related stuff on that phone, would he not do that while sitting down to give time for his feet to rest? And if he ever was just using his phone for fun, why would he do it beside a patient?” she asked.

Image capture of Ms. Pitoy's Facebook post
Image capture of Ms. Pitoy’s Facebook post

She reiterated that doctors  are not “that stupid to not know it is unethical to open non work related pages on the phone in front of a patient And cause this kind of commotion” since they have a whole subject about ethics when they were in medical school.

Pitoy went on to explain why she thinks the patient was not ‘unattended’ as claimed by the sharer.

She believes the doctor may have indeed been ‘texting’, but it was certainly not for entertainment.

“He is obviously updating the ATTENDING PHYSICIAN (the boss) of the current vital signs and status of the patient,” she wrote further. “We can’t just ask the nurses to assess for us because we are reliable to whatever we text or NOT TEXT.”

She also urged others on social media to stop posting pictures of doctors this way to mislead others.

“WE WORK SO HARD TO PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY AND PRIVACY WHATEVER YOUR DISEASE OR SITUATION IS.” Pitoy wrote while asking for the respect she thinks doctors deserve.

Read Ms. Pitoy’s full post HERE.

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