When you work the desk for long enough in a doctor’s office, interacting with your boss and co-workers, handling patients and taking their information, you may have occasionally entertained this thought: “Hey, I’ve been doing this so long I bet I could even perform that person’s rhinoplasty.”
Then you chuckle because you’re a smart person and you know that you’re not actually certified to perform rhinoplasty on human beings. Or animals for that matter, because that would just be weird.
This tiny detail appears to have escaped Christine Patterson.
As the Herald-Tribune reports, Patterson, an office manager at her brother’s Sarasota, Fla. plastic surgery clinic, stands accused of treating one of her brother’s patients in his absence.
The patient reportedly came in for a post-op follow-up the day after her surgery in April 2011. With her brother out of town, Patterson allegedly examined the patient, rewrapped her bandages and sent her on her way. Not surprisingly, the patient returned the next day with major swelling. The term used by a pair of witnesses was “swollen like a pumpkin,” which is probably not the look she was going for when she submitted to voluntary cosmetic surgery.
Patterson is said to have drained the patient’s excess swelling herself, telling a witness she’d seen it done “plenty of times.” "Not only did she diagnose her facial swelling with a hematoma, she put in a drain to drain the excess fluid," Wendy Rose, a spokesperson for the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, told Tampa’s Channel 10 News.
Using that logic, most of us should be qualified to fly commercial jets and filibuster our way through five years of city council. But anyway, you can imagine how well that went for the poor patient, who described the pain as “excruciating.” Police charged the 44-year-old woman with practicing medicine without a licence, a charge her husband denies. "My wife never went to medical school," John Patterson told the news network. "She won't even know how to attempt to do something like that."