Amy Dunbar: Tardiness-Hating OB/GYN Now Most Reviled St. Louisan on Facebook

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Dr. Amy Dunbar
Hey, guess what, Chris Higgins? You are no longer the most reviled St. Louisan on Facebook! Your reign was short, though intense, but the torch has now been passed to Dr. Amy Dunbar, an OB/GYN at St. John's Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur (aka the Baby Factory), who had the sheer, unmitigated gall to complain to her friends on Facebook about a patient who was three hours late for an appointment. Not just an ordinary checkup, mind you:

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Dunbar's friends, many of whom are doctors or RNs, responded sympathetically, albeit crudely, suggesting that the mother-to-be was perhaps hitting up the drive-thru or the bar. It should be noted that the only comment Dunbar made to the thread was to explain that she had not cancelled the appointment because the patient had had a prior stillbirth.

Unfortunately for Dunbar, her Facebook feed was not as private as she thought.

Within days, members of the Mercy Moms to Be Facebook group got wind of Dunbar's post -- and a second one which read, "Nothing I'd rather be doing at 4 a.m. than a circumcision. ;-)" -- and pulled out the social media pitchforks, tar and feathers.

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Why Heather Tiedemann, who lives "near Port Hueneme, CA" and who is not nor has ever been a patient of Dunbar's, felt the need to comment remains unexplained.

Nonetheless, someone from Mercy responded to Tiedemann's complaint assuring her that the hospital was taking her concerns seriously:

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.

All of which led to a nearly-Talmudic debate on Tiedemann's thread about whether Dunbar had violated HIPAA law, plus a soupçon of additional outrage about the fact that the Mercy Facebook site is "Moms to Be" instead of just "Moms" and about Dunbar's circumcision comment. (It is illegal to circumcise a minor! Except, of course, when his religion mandates it.)

Mercy concluded its investigation and has issued this statement:

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.

Dunbar, it is perhaps needless to say, has been advised not to make any further comments and instead direct interested parties to the Mercy PR department. And, perhaps more importantly, she's since made her Facebook page private.

Let this be a lesson to all of us.

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30 comments
YoungReezy
YoungReezy

American doctors are so ridiculously overpaid and coddled, they don't have a right to complain about anything.  For the insane amount money they get for very little work, they should just thank their lucky stars that they're getting away with their little scam.



GetReal
GetReal

Sure, everybody bitches about their jobs and the people they deal with. But an OB-GYN should know better than to rant about a patient on Facebook, even if the patient deserves it. It's simply unprofessional. It's debatable whether Dr. Amy Dunbar actually violated HIPAA rules, but regardless ---- that bitch needs to be fired.

jealousblues1
jealousblues1

waaaaah waaaaaaah @ moms to be

the woman is entitled to gripe to her friends on facebook about the extremely RUDE patient 

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

Amazing. Those complaining about this doctor revealing the extreme tardiness of one patient as personal information had no problem with a waitress publishing a credit card receipt. The doc should be given credit for even keeping this patient. Miss your appointment and show up 3 hours later without a phone call? Other patients will be impacted, and it will be looked at the doctor's fault for overbooking. 20 minutes is generous without a phone call to reschedule. After that, "Where would you like your medical records forwarded?"


Sarah Penrod
Sarah Penrod

Everyone complains about their job. This includes your doctor, lawyer, teacher, waiter, mechanic, and every other profession you could imagine and sometimes, they complain about you. If you're losing your shit over that thought, you are too uptight! Get help.

Kerry Ann Colombo
Kerry Ann Colombo

I dont think the patients baby was stillborn, i think the person who commented had one :(

Sandy Landrum Bartolin
Sandy Landrum Bartolin

Three hours is not acceptable in my book for either a patient of a doctor. She didn't name any names, she was simply letting off steam. I don't see anything wrong with it. The patient should have at least called or had someone call for her. She states this patient has been late for every appointment. It seems to me the patient is not concerned for her own health nor the health of her baby if she is making a habit out of being late for her doctor appointments. Could that be a clue to why her last baby was stillborn? We all chose to be on facebook and are apparently addicted to it, so running down the doctor and bringing out the tar and feathers is hardly appropriate.

Lossy Dreamsequence
Lossy Dreamsequence

I don't think a personal life should include talking shit on your patients. She's not the only one in the medical field doing this shit. Alot of medical professionals look down on their clients and complain about them. If you don't care about providing service to people selflessly you are in the wrong field. Like the person above says, if the client previously had a stillborn maybe there was something wrong but what did she do ... complained on the internet. Very respectful! /eyeroll

Kerry Ann Colombo
Kerry Ann Colombo

EMILY and MEREDITH I had a high risk pregnancy and I saw her ALL THE TIME and she was never late!!! and Darin, I'm sorry your doc was an hour and a half late but SHE IS NOT THAT DOCTOR! She always goes above and beyond... this story is snowballing and she is not the poster child for this whole "doctors are inconsiderate" complaint... she is the EXCEPTION!!!

Darin Gries
Darin Gries

Last time I went to the doctor- he was 1 1/2 late

Meredith Mendola
Meredith Mendola

Doctors run late constantly. Sounds like she couldn't handle a taste of her own medicine.

Emily Bahn
Emily Bahn

What's the point of being on time, when the doctor (every doctor I've ever come in contact with) always makes you wait forever anyway?

kerrylettmann
kerrylettmann

She is an AMAZING doctor who I have personally seen bend over BACKWARDS for her patients and has gone above and beyond for them (including me!) I left my previous OBGYN BECAUSE I was treated like a time slot and moved TO HER OFFICE because I had a high risk pregnancy and felt more comfortable with her BECAUSE of the personalized service she gave. She really pays attention to all the little details, and tells you like it is if something is serious or if you are worried over nothing. If you want to have the "doctors treat people like cattle or timeslots" rant, then DONT DO IT HERE... She isn't that doctor. I am SURE it was an extreme situation or a case that was particularly ridiculous for her to make a comment about it! She showed up to my emergency delivery to my twins when she wasn't on call. She put up with me and my 1,000 questions and I have seen her stay late or come in early to work with patients... If someone is seriously THAT late to all of their appointments I think making a sarcastic remark on facebook is no big deal in the scheme of things! She is a completely capable doctor who I have never had to wait more than 5 minutes in the waiting room for. She is one of the best doctors I have ever had! And who knows what would have happened if another doctor delivered my twins! I hope all of these people realize there are other doctors out there like my previous OBGYN that I would have to wait TWO HOURS to see and then literally see her for 2-5 minutes. Dr. Dunbar is probably the best in St. Louis and does NOT deserve this negative attack.

Kerry Ann Colombo
Kerry Ann Colombo

She is an AMAZING doctor who I have personally seen bend over BACKWARDS for her patients and has gone above and beyond for them (including me!) I left my previous OBGYN BECAUSE I was treated like a time slot and moved TO HER OFFICE because I had a high risk pregnancy and felt more comfortable with her BECAUSE of the personalized service she gave. She really pays attention to all the little details, and tells you like it is if something is serious or if you are worried over nothing. If you want to have the "doctors treat people like cattle or timeslots" rant, then DONT DO IT HERE... She isn't that doctor. I am SURE it was an extreme situation or a case that was particularly ridiculous for her to make a comment about it! She showed up to my emergency delivery to my twins when she wasn't on call. She put up with me and my 1,000 questions and I have seen her stay late or come in early to work with patients... If someone is seriously THAT late to all of their appointments I think making a sarcastic remark on facebook is no big deal in the scheme of things! She is a completely capable doctor who I have never had to wait more than 5 minutes in the waiting room for. She is one of the best doctors I have ever had! And who knows what would have happened if another doctor delivered my twins! I hope all of these people realize there are other doctors out there like my previous OBGYN that I would have to wait TWO HOURS to see and then literally see her for 2-5 minutes. Dr. Dunbar is probably the best in St. Louis and does NOT deserve this negative attack.

ems123
ems123

The root of the issue is that doctors, especially OBs, who are supposed to help people through the toughest and most vulnerable medical situation of most people's lives up to that point, need to treat people more like human beings and less like time slots. Is it disrespectful for the patient to be late? Yes. But a woman who's previously had a stillborn child and is three hours late to an induction could be in physical or psychological trouble. Why isn't the doctor worrying about that instead of fretting about her schedule and posting on Facebook? I felt I was not treated like a human being by the doctor who recently delivered my baby, and I think the problem is probably pretty common. Yes, doctors have jobs to do and schedules to keep. But they are also entrusted with people's well-being, and I feel some OBs do not honor that responsibility very well.

Erin Shetler
Erin Shetler

The root of the issue is that doctors, especially OBs, who are supposed to help people through the toughest and most vulnerable medical situation of most people's lives up to that point, need to treat people more like human beings and less like time slots. Is it disrespectful for the patient to be late? Yes. But a woman who's previously had a stillborn child and is three hours late to an induction could be in physical or psychological trouble. Why isn't the doctor worrying about that instead of fretting about her schedule and posting on Facebook? I felt I was not treated like a human being by the doctor who recently delivered my baby, and I think the problem is probably pretty common. Yes, doctors have jobs to do and schedules to keep. But they are also entrusted with people's well-being, and I feel some OBs do not honor that responsibility very well.

Liz Chappell
Liz Chappell

Even though she is a professional, she's allowed to have a personal life too. Her comments were vague. Get over it. She's not perfect and neither are you. She probably has a family at home waiting for her every night after work. If patients are late, she's late getting home (as is the rest of her staff).

Patricia Powell
Patricia Powell

Sorry Joey don't agree. If pts can just wonder in why have a schedule and it also shows a companys approval of a pt's disrespect for other pt's/staff/company that are responsible and respectful to be on time which shows common resoect for everyone. ITS CALLED GOOD MANNERS which is lacking today.

Eric Levy
Eric Levy

At least she didn't send a bill asking the patient for a 10% tithe instead of an 18% tip...

Peggy Keller
Peggy Keller

It's possible the patient herself was a doctor, considering the countless times my ob-gyns have been hours late for appts, including missing the birth of my son who was in fetal distress, the complaint about someone else being tardy is hypocritical.

Ellyn Hloben
Ellyn Hloben

The doctor did at least one thing wrong. If you notice the globe icon by her posts you will see she is posting publicly. Big mistake! Especially with confidentiality and HIPAA concerns.

Joey Marie
Joey Marie

A person smart enough to be a doctor should also be smart enough to make their facebook private.

Jennifer Brown
Jennifer Brown

O man. Maybe the patient shouldnt of been so disrespectful to the doctor. I do not think doctor did anything wrong. She did not state patients private info, just that she was sick of this woman being late to every appointment. The doctor runs on a schedule and when your late you put her and other patients behind. At least call and say youll be late!

DoucheMcGee
DoucheMcGee

lol at her argument about the Doctor violating HIPAA law by saying the patient was late. That's not health information.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

@Darin Gries , or he was having to deal an emergency or dealing with patients showing up really late for their appointments causing a huge backlog by your scheduled time. Even better when they schedule an appointment for a minor issue, but come in with a long list of ailments they've had for weeks.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

@Meredith Mendola, , or he was having to deal an emergency or dealing with patients showing up really late for their appointments causing a huge backlog by your scheduled time. Even better when they schedule an appointment for a minor issue, but come in with a long list of ailments they've had for weeks.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

@Emily Bahn, or he was having to deal an emergency or dealing with patients showing up really late for their appointments causing a huge backlog by your scheduled time. Even better when they schedule an appointment for a minor issue, but come in with a long list of ailments they've had for weeks.

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