This week, we discussed the case of a surgeon who left an operating room to eat a meal and then fell asleep in his car — missing the operation. Now, there is a new case involving a Democratic representative and surgeon from Maryland who participated in legislative meetings while operating. The multitasking of Dr. Terri Hill, a state delegate and board-certified plastic surgeon, led to a relatively light sanction: a reprimand and a $15,000 fine by the state physician’s board.
In a remote public hearing in February, Hill presented a bill while performing “major abdominal surgery.” According to FOX 45, the Zoom call showed a solid blue background but Hill was shown in her surgical gown. She was recorded saying “I’m at work, yes. You’re at work. I’m at work.”
In a March legislative session, she again appeared in an operating room for a “major abdominal and back surgery.”
Hill was found to have engaged in “unprofessional conduct in the practice of medicine” in joining at least two Zoom meetings with other lawmakers in the last year during surgeries.
The case is reminiscent of a prior case that we discussed involving Dr. Scott Green who appeared remotely in a Sacramento Superior Court for a trial of a traffic violation during an operation.
In this case, there is an added twist. Hill insists that the patient consented to the bizarre arrangement. However, the patient said that she does not recall such a conversation and thus challenged the account that she consented to multitasking during her own operation. It would certainly seem a curious request of a patient.
Hill accepted the fine but downplayed the offense and punishment as “constructive criticism”:
“As a physician and a professional, I always look for ways to improve my practice. Sometimes this includes accepting constructive criticism from others. I accept the Board’s decision that I could have done better.”
I think that there is little question that she “could have done better.” What is astonishing is that such a clearly unprofessional and dangerous practice is a matter for a simple fine rather than a suspension of her license. The patient denies knowledge of any consent and even the request to allow multitasking in a surgery should be viewed as improper.
There is also a question of legal liability. The operations (as with the one earlier this week) appear to have been successful. The patient quoted in the article could claim trauma after-the-fact but she did receive the services of her chosen doctor and did not appear to have suffered any injury. That would make for a difficult tort case.
Hill represents the state’s 12th Legislative District in Baltimore.
46 thoughts on “Multitasking or Malpractice? Maryland Surgeon and State Delegate Reprimanded After Participating in Hearings During Surgeries”
Multi-tasking is impossible. The human brain can only process one task at a time, but can move quickly between tasks. I would have never thought to ask a surgeon if I would have their undivided attention during surgery.
Multi-tasking is NOT impossible – either for computers or humans.
While you would be correct – if we were referring to a single processor – that is only able to multi-task by switching rapidly between tasks.
But nearly all modern computers have multiple processors, and the human brain is massively parallel – not a single processor.
Most people can as an example concurrently perform independent verbal and graphic tasks concurrently – so long as neither task bleeds into the other portion of the brain.
I can as an example talk on the phone successfully and legally while driving. But I can not drive and concurrently give the person on the phone travel directions.
Multiple processors can multi-task with shared resources. People…persons cannot consciously multi-process, but we can multi-task with diminishing performance.
You note SOME of the ways in which multi-tasking can occur – both in humans and in computers.
Multiple processors with shared resources are ONE of many methods.
Speciffically addressing people – human processing is not single processor.
Human processing is highly distributed – with both shared and unshared resources.
In response to some stimuli – parts of your body – such as your arm may respond – long before that stimuli is know to the brain.
Within the brain itself processing is distributed, control of each motor function is localized and independent.
processing different types of stimuli or specific types of problems – is also localized and independent.
Humans are not very good at some specific forms of multi-tasking, but they are incredibly good at others – and in fact human life depends on them.
You are correct that some specific forms of multitasking significantly diminish human performance.
But what we can multitask well at and what we can not depends on how the different tasks map to the way human processing works.
Further – within some limits individual humans can improve their ability to perform specific forms of multi-tasking.
We are far from more than shallow understanding of human processing.
[We gave you] a republic, if you can keep it.”
– Ben Franklin, 1787
You couldn’t keep your slaves.
You couldn’t keep your wives.
You couldn’t keep your Constitution.
You couldn’t keep your Bill of Rights.
You couldn’t keep your freedom.
You couldn’t keep your borders.
You couldn’t keep your country.
What good are you?
The Founders gave Americans the one and only thing they could: Freedom.
You rejected it…
for communism and slavery.
[We gave you] a republic, if you can take it back.”
– Ben Franklin, 2021
” But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
– Declaration of Independence, 1776
The Israelite slaves …” George, you, have posted this same falsehood numerous times.
No Evidence: Ancient Hebrews In Egypt
No evidence exists in Archeology, Anthropology, History or other sciences to support the Hebrew mythologist writings that the so-called “Biblical Hebrews” ever set foot on the land of Egypt.
For a short, popular, but scholarly understanding, you might want to read:
The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, a book published in 2001, discusses the archaeology of Israel and its relationship to the origins and content of the Hebrew Bible. The authors are Israel Finkelstein, Professor of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, and Neil Asher Silberman, an archaeologist, historian and contributing editor to Archaeology Magazine.
There is nothing “new” or newly discovered in Messrs. Finklestein and Silberman’s book, which they make perfectly clear. What is new is that the authors directly correlate or attempt to correlate archeological evidence with the Hebrew mythologists claims.
Worst than having no evidence to support the mythography of the Hebrew mythologists, as the authors point out countless times, is for the claims of the Hebrew mythologists to be patently violative of reason, logic and common sense. One example, is the Hebrew mythologists claim of Ancient Hebrews spending 40 years in the desert. (Frankly, my favorite is the one of a Moses parting the Red Sea to allow how many Ancient Hebrews to escape Egypt!?)
If you were interested in “learning” who might want to take a course in Egyptology, let alone Archeology. You would “learn” the evidence exists and has existed for many, many, many, many many years that the pyramids were not built by slaves, or even Ancient Hebrew slaves, but by labors, craftsman, engineers and designers, i.e., modern day architects. All of whom received wages, for which there are archeological contemporaneous records.
But, wait!, the pyramids were by the Ancient Hebrew, “Joseph,” to store grain, according to the politician and neurosurgeon, Benjamin Solomon Carson Sr.
No wait, the pyramids were built by aliens. Please most recently, Elon Musk or earlier Erich Anton Paul von Däniken
Consider that you might be wrong. At least some of the scholarship debunking the stories of Hebrews in Egypt has been done by people with an intense skepticism of ancient accounts, like those who once said Homer never existed and that Troy was a myth. We all know how that turned out.
An archaeologist who is also an Egyptologist and who has done field work in the area makes a credible argument for elements of truth to the Biblical account.
You can also find a very interesting lecture by this scholar on YouTube.
One question he posed that resonated with me was why would we read the Bible with greater skepticism than we now apply to other ancient accounts? The Bible isn’t history as Thucydides would have written it, or even Herodotus, but not many writers before them were.
The Bible is an important source, and sometimes the only written source, for ancient events that continue to be confirmed by archaeology. Biblical Archaeology Review is a credible source for some of those discoveries.
I approach any claim with skepticism, but too much of it can be intellectual poison.
i should add, by the way, that ‘Red Sea’ is a translation error. The original text related to the ‘Reed Sea’ which was much more shallow, was near the principal highway in and out of Egypt, and was a possible way to go if one wanted to leave Egypt without encountering two giant Egyptian Forts [remains still exist] astride the main road. The Reed Sea itself has diminished significantly, but small parts of it, complete with reeds, still exist and the shores of the former, larger sea can still be traced. Nothing in the Bible says that Hebrews built the pyramids. They worked in ‘the land of Goshen’, which has been identified and was Delta farmland then and is Delta farmland now.
Professor Turley posts articles disparaging, rightly so, the denial of freedom of speech and other sensational accounts on college campuses on a daily basis. Did you call Warren? Warren Buffett pays for Gecko commercials 24/7/365 on every radio and TV station known to man. You don’t hear me complaining. And then there’s – what’s your name exactly, I’ve forgotten? Well, it doesn’t really matter, does it.
Isn’t that to miss the point, Your Highness?
Perhaps the point went over your head; perhaps the point missed you.
“You would “learn” the evidence exists and has existed for many, many, many, many many years that the pyramids were not built by slaves . . .”
And if you learned how to *evaluate* evidence, you might understand that such a claim is utter nonsense.
The supposed “evidence:”
1) That there are tributes to some of the *dignitaries* who worked on the pyramids. (Which means nothing, other than that the Pharaoh — aka the dictator — had his favorites and acknowledged them publicly, as did every dictator in the 20th century.)
2) That the workers’ (aka slaves’) living quarters and villages were near the pyramids. (As were the slave quarters in the South.)
“[T]he evidence exists . . . that the pyramids were not built by slaves . . .”
What is the motivation behind these attempts to whitewash ancient Egypt’s history of tyranny? Why put lipstick on this particular pig?
To deceive people into accepting the vicious lie that being ruled by High Priests (religious or secular) is benign. After all, under such a tyranny, you are not really a slave. You are a “worker,” being paid a wage, while being allowed to live close to your place of “employment.”
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