20 Days of Chill - Pounder

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Welcome back to 20 Days of Chill, today's prompt is Pounder.

I'll admit that my first thought went to a giant-sized burger, but then again whose wouldn't?

On second thought I decided to go down a different path, especially as I've already mentioned my favorite show: ER, Emergency Room.


Pounder is the name of one of the actresses: C. C. H. Pounder (Carol Christine Hilaria) played Dr. Angela Hicks, a surgical attending, besides Elizabeth Corday, the only female one I can remember who held this position. 

As such she is the young and ambitious 3rd year resident Dr. Peter Benton's supervisor. 

Benton was recruited by Dr. Carl Vucelich, one of the top cardiovascular surgeons in the country, to participate in an aortic aneurism study including what they call the "clamp and run procedure" to prevent stroke. Its primary benefit was taking only a fraction of the time compared to standard treatment for carotic artery stenosis (angioplasty and stenting). Additionally they gave a drug called Lazerol.


Your wife has a dissecting aneurysm.
The wall of the aorta is tearing.
ry of hypertension- But she's very active. Still. Surgery is a risk. - What
With your wife's age and her hist oare the odds? - About fifty-fifty. But if your wife's aorta continues ripping, then she has no odds at all.
The clamp-and-run procedure. This has the be
Well, it sounds like we have no choice here. Okay, I'll sign. You have a choice of a new surgical technique.
of heart attack or paralysis with this operation. It's new. Develo
nefit of taking a fraction of the time the standard surgery takes. Why is that better? You always run a risk ped by one of the top vascular surgeons in the country. He works here. Newer's better? I don't know.
Read more: https://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/view_episode_scripts.php?tv-show=er&episode=s02e10
Over the course of their collaboration Benton become convinced that Vucelich was purposely excluding "bad outcomes", meaning patients who died from complications after the procedure, in order to improve the results of the study which of course is scientifically and morally improper. 

As Benton gathers facts and confronts Vucelich, he find himself taken off the research team without so much as a personal notification. His badge that was supposed to give him access to the parking garage was deactivated, and there was a box with his stuff demonstratively sitting on his desk.


This is a conversation between Benton and Hicks:

  • Benton: Vucelich is telling people that I left the study.
  • Hicks: I wasn't sure you'd want to talk.
  • Benton: I didn't exactly leave.
  • Hicks: Carl is very discreet. He didn't think it would look good that he had to fire his star pupil.
  • Benton: Is that what he said? I believe the euphemism was "we're experiencing a difference in style".
  • Hicks: I would have just fired you.
  • Benton: Our differences had to do with the data who's left in and who's left out.
  • Hicks: That's a matter of interpretation. It's his research study. He did get the grant on the strength of his reputation and accomplishments. Do you know how much money he brings into this hospital? If you've had a disagreement with Vucelich, I suggest you retreat immediately and apologize.
  • Benton: It wasn't a disagreement.
  • Hicks: You have the arrogance of a great surgeon, the ego and someday, one hopes, the talent. But what you don't have is the ability to get along, to be a member of the team. Once you're a Carl Vucelich, you don't need that, but you can't be a Carl Vucelich without it.
After much hesitation Benton took his case to the ethics committee, and as a result - of course it was never admitted in so many words - Vucelich reported the negative outcome patients in an addendum to his study, "it seemed prudent course, given the circumstances", he stated, plus he nominated Peter for resident of the year. 

Talk about a guilty conscience trying to cover his ass.

So Dr Hick's role in this situation was not crucial, she's not a main character - even though she should have become one in my opinion. Her personality certainly had potential.

The few scenes she had included advice she gave Dr. Susan Lewis:

"When I was a resident, I was always worried about people's approval. The attendings', the patients'. Maybe because I was a woman, a black woman. Life was a lot easier once I got over it. Don't let the patients get to you, Dr. Lewis. We treat them as soon as we can. Don't apologise for how long it takes. We're a busy hospital, not a restaurant."







Another time she allowed Dr. John Carter, who I believe was a medical student at the time, to assist in an appendectomy, or so they thought. During surgery it turned out that the patient's bellyache was misdiagnosed as appendicitis.

Dr Hicks: "Well, that is the pinkest, most healthy appendix I've ever seen!"
Dr. Carter: "But he had all the symptoms?"
Dr. Hicks: "They can fool you."

As they kept fumbling in the patient's terminal ileum, they discovered the real reason for the guy's discomfort: he must have swallowed a toothpick!

Dr Hicks: "Dr. Carter, congratulations on your first toothpick-ectomy!"

Allright, guys, instead of a hamburger you got surgery, sorry about that! You may have better luck over at my fellow writers' posts. 

For the photographers among you, I posted a photo scavenger hunt earlier today, and I plan to do a sequel soon, so let me know if you're interested in participating!

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the grand 20 Days of Chill finale, I can't believe it's over?





Look, if I was going to talk to somebody I mean, officially, who would it be? The dean.
But going up against a guy like Vucelich He's one of the top cardiovascular surgeons in the country.
What if it comes down to your word against his? - You don't think I should pursue it? - If you're wrong, your career's over.

Read more: https://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/view_episode_scripts.php?tv-show=er&episode=s02e14