OB-GYN complains on Facebook about her late patient, receives mixed reactions, hospital issues statement

By on Feb 7, 2013 in Internet, Lifestyle, United States Comments

Dr. Amy Dunbar, an OB-GYN at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri, complains on Facebook about her late patient, which received mixed reactions. The incident has been published on various blogs and some major news sites, and the hospital has already released a statement on the issue.

“So I have a patient who has chosen to either no-show or be late (sometimes hours) for all of her prenatal visits, ultrasounds, and NSTs. She is now three hours late for her induction. May I show up late for her delivery?” Dr. Amy Dunbar posted on her Facebook page late last month.

Dr. Dunbar‘s Facebook post attracted comments from her Facebook friends, and some of them made fun on the possible reasons why her patient is frequently late for her medical appointment. But for some reasons, there were those who were not pleased and submitted a screenshot of her post to the hospital’s Facebook page.

“I just want say the lack of professionalism by Dr. Amy Dunbar is beyond words at this point. She should not be allowed to work with patients if she callously talks about them on her own Facebook page. While she does not name patients on her page she gives personal information about patients which could identify who she is talking about.” Heather Tiedemann wrote on her Facebook, addressing her concerns to Mercy Moms To Be – STL Facebook page.

“I hope the hospital takes swift action against this doctor and all the other doctors who joked about the patients she was referring to. As a woman who has had a full term still birth, if I found out my doctor was posting that information on her page and other doctors were joking about it I would go straight to the top of hospital leadership to ensure this doctor was fired.” Tiedemann added.

Apparently, there were those who agreed that the OB-GYN should be fired, or at least be reprimanded, citing that her act was unprofessional. On the other hand, others noted that she has not done anything wrong, since she did not mention the name of the patient. The hospital commented on Tiedemann‘s Facebook post, which can be read below.

“Our physician leadership has already called Dr. Dunbar. Her comments were definitely inappropriate. We are also reviewing them to determine if they violated privacy issues, etc. That process requires a more thorough review, but we will determine the appropriate response as quickly as possible. In the meantime, know that our physician organization holds its members to the highest standards and strives to improve our service and clinical care through that process.”

“Mercy values the dignity and privacy of all our patients and we are very sorry that this incident occurred. While our privacy compliance staff has confirmed that this physician’s comments did not represent a breach of privacy laws, they were inappropriate and not in line with our values of respect and dignity. Mercy holds its physicians and other co-workers to high standards in ensuring the protection of patient information. We cannot comment on specific disciplinary actions, but we will use this as an opportunity to reinforce our standards through additional education of our physicians and co-workers, including appropriate use of social media.”

Amy Dunbar OB GYN Facebook complaint
OB-GYN Dr. Amy Dunbar Facebook complaint about her late patient
Screenshot Credit: Amy Dunbar Facebook via Mercy Moms To Be – STL Facebook

OB GYN Facebook patient complaint
Heather Tiedemann’s reaction on OB-GYN Dr. Amy Dunbar Facebook complaint
Screenshot Credit: Heather Tiedemann Facebook

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