Nominee: Timothy Poterucha, MD, Resident Physician
Nominated by: Mark Tuttle, MD
Supervisors of Nominee: Yalena Kamenker-Orlov, MD and Anthony Breu, MD
Institution: VA Boston Health Care System, West Roxbury, MA
Dr. Poterucha saw a patient as an ED moonlighter who presented on 11/18 with shoulder pain with an initially negative X-ray. After the patient was discharged from the ED, it appeared that his X-ray was over-read by the attending as a pathologic fracture. Dr. Poterucha arranged follow-up with a new PCP (on 11/20) who ordered labs to evaluate for multiple myeloma. These labs strongly suggested myeloma, however no attempts were made to contact the patient. Dr. Poterucha called him to check in on 12/8 and found that he was in extremis at home. Dr. Poterucha called an ambulance for the patient, which brought him to West Roxbury, where his creatinine was 5.0 and his calcium was 15, and he was admitted to the MICU. Dr. Poterucha went far and above his role as an ED moonlighter in caring for this patient, and it is likely that the patient would have died if Dr. Poterucha had not intervened.
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