L’Affaire Tim Peterson

I wrote a detailed column about the retirement of Dr. Tim Peterson, and then the current interruption somehow interfered, and the column disappeared.

Was that a sign that I was not to touch the subject?

In all these years, very few columns disappeared. It took me a while to get back to it.

Reminder to save your work, properly.

Dr. Tim Peterson was the busiest surgeon on the island. He worked incessantly. Being a perfectionist is both a blessing and a curse, but the good doctor handled the stress, for almost three decades, the longest operating surgeon on the island, just four years away from official retirement.

His friends told me he ate stress for breakfast, which was their way of telling me, he coped.

Those who visited his waiting room, in the Eagle clinic, know, if was eternally busy, and in the war against disease, pain and disorder, Dr. Peterson was a fierce, scalpel-yielding warrior, going the extra mile for his patients.

Until he didn’t cope anymore. A while ago he took some time off.

Then accusation emerged against him that he was not a team player, and that he flew solo, he did not get along.

Those of you who remember, remember.

There once was a story about a Whistle-Blowing doctor who told about his colleagues who were over-charging, or double dipping. The story was hushed, some money was paid back, and everyone agreed to go on, and forget, for the good of the country.

But bad blood remained. The three surgeons in AZV’s service here never got along, it was a public secret, they were no team players. As the wound festered, and Peterson suffered the brunt of the trauma.

True, he should have been able to let it go. He should have been encouraged to let it go, but could have, should have and would have are hypothetic, talking about stuff that never happened.

Who loses? We, the patients, do.

There was an attempt by IMSAN to offer Peterson a full time position whereby he could continue for four more years to save lives in San Nicolas in their operation theater, but rumors imply the director of the hospital announced he will deny him an admittance contract meaning, Peterson could not rely on HOH as backup, in case of emergencies, and thus the IMSAN offer became irrelevant.

Another version claims that the director of the hospital did all he could to settle disputes by arbitration, but we keep hearing about bad blood between HOH and IMSAN, from what I understand HOH feels it should be in charge while IMSAN is content to manage its own workload and resources. Is it a kind of Russia VS Ukraine situation?

AZV could have been more diplomatic and sided with Peterson, in gratitude for many years of excellent service. Some people are lone stars, and prefer to work alone. They should perhaps have accommodated the next four years, by maintaining the status quo.

Peterson will be accepting some assignments on St Martin. He has family roots on that island, and will try to help a bit, there.


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March 28, 2022
Rona Coster