|janecarnall (janecarnall) wrote,|
@ 2010-02-23 18:30:00
House MD: Unminuted Statements
Takes place towards the end of "Babies and Bathwater".
"If you think House deserves to go, if you think I deserve to go, Wilson deserved to go, then vote yes. But if you’re doing this because you are afraid of losing his money, then he’s right! He does own you. You have a choice. Maybe the last real one you’ll have here."
The door closed sharply behind her.
"I move to adjourn the meeting," Doctor Bergen said.
"Seconded," Doctor Harper said sharply.
"All in favor, vote Aye," Doctor Bergen said.
There was a sudden chorus of "Aye" round the table.
No one moved. Doctor Bergen leaned forward. "Prior to this meeting, I had a discussion with a few of my colleagues, and we agreed that I should make a short, unminuted statement, which might clarify the situation here. Mr Vogler, would you care to sit down?"
Harper had said she thought Vogler would prefer to stand: it was easier for him to dominate any room he was in. But she felt it would make a psychological difference to the meeting if Vogler had been invited to sit and then refused.
"Say what you have to say," Vogler said, and stayed on his feet.
"Very well. To begin with, Mr Vogler, this hospital functions in three modes: the medical, the educational, and the business. In order to continue functioning, the hospital must remain a profitable business. In order to function as a hospital, we must continue to accept and to educate young people studying medicine. In order to justify our existence as a hospital, we must take in sick people and care for them." He paused and looked up at Vogler.
The man frowned down at him. "Is this relevant?"
"I believe so. Everyone in this room understands that you got us to fire Doctor Wilson - who is a competent, if not outstanding, oncologist; a more than competant educator; and an extremely competent administrator - not because you had anything against Doctor Wilson himself but because you intended to fire Doctor House, and only a unanimous vote fo the Board can revoke a department head's tenure. I have to say that I regret, now, allowing Doctor Wilson to be the sole individual to vote against revoking Doctor House's tenure, because while we can easily find another competent oncologist to head up the cancer department, we cannot allow you to get rid of Doctor House."
Vogler set both his hands on the table and leaned forward into Doctor Bergen's face. "And why is that?"
"Please allow me to continue my statement, Mr Vogler, I believe it will answer your question. Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital is a small teaching hospital, and most of our staff are, while competent, not outstanding in our field." Bergen had agreed to make the statement because, as Harper said, "If he sacks you, you move on: any hospital in the tristate area would be glad to hire you." Laser surgery was a sufficiently new field that outstanding surgeons were still scarce, and Bergen was one of them.
"We are widely renowned as a centre for excellence for one reason, and one reason only: we employ Doctor Gregory House. We attract major donors and big insurance companies are willing to deal with us on terms they do not normally offer to hospitals our size, because, on a regular basis, House accepts patients no one else can cure, figures out what's wrong with them, and saves their lives. His fellows write papers that are accepted in major medical journals. House could move from here to a prestigious research post at Harvard or Johns Hopkins almost at will. He doesn't want to, because he enjoys working with - or perhaps we should say on patients."
Doctor Bergen paused. "Speaking personally, and on the understanding that I will not be quoted, I detest House. He's arrogant, childishly eccentric, loud-mouthed and foul-mouthed. He's a hopeless administrator and he hates teaching. But his presence on our staff is what makes this hospital shine medically far above any other hospital our size in the United States. That attracts higher-quality students and staff that make us function better as a teaching hospital. And that shine is what makes us function profitably as a business - what attracted you, as a businessman, to this hospital in the first place. I shall regret losing Doctor Wilson, but he is replaceable. I shall strongly regret losing Doctor Cuddy, who is an excellent administrator, keeping the triple functions of this hospital well in balance. But we simply cannot afford to lose Doctor House. Regardless of how much he annoys you, in which, I believe, you have the personal sympathy of every Board member here."
Vogler chuckled, but he didn't sound amused. "So when I say 'I go or he goes' - do you really think House's value here outweighs 100 million dollars?"
Doctor Bergen nodded. "If you want to fire any other doctor here, including me, the hospital will continue to function as a centre of excellence, and your money will be well-invested. If you want to fire Doctor House, within a few years, we will no longer be the hospital you wanted to invest in - we'll be just another small mediocre teaching hospital that few out-of-state students want to attend." He looked down the table at his colleagues. "Shall we resume the meeting, or does anyone else wish to make an unminuted statement?" He looked up at Vogler.
"I think I do," Vogler said. "Am I to understand that you want me to withdraw the motion to fire Doctor Cuddy?"
Bergen shook his head. "I and others here are agreed: we want you to accept that Doctor House's presence in the hospital is a large part of why you wanted to invest in the hospital, and if you continue to move to have him fired, we will regard you as an investment we cannot afford, and actively oppose your involvement in our business."
"But if I drop my opposition to House?"
"Doctor Cuddy believed your investment was our best choice: I have every confidence in her administrative decisions. I will vote against revoking her tenure, not least because I don't want to risk being in the position of dealing with House on a daily basis." He glanced up and down the table at the rest of the Board. "Shall we resume the meeting?"