Plato Varidin, D.O.

Plato was ultimately the savior of a very unusual experience I had.  While I was on staff of the osteopathic hospital in St. Petersburg, Harborside Hospital, owned by Dr. Buddy Beville, D.O., (when I first joined the staff there).  It became a buzzing business place and then it was ?sold?…(I was never sure who owned whom, or what) to a company from Texas.  Beville always had wild business deals happening.  Anyway, the administrator that came with the ?new owners?, was an alcoholic.  I don’t even bother to try to remember his name.  He came to staff meetings drunk and tried to conduct business drunk, and I have no patience for that.  What I didn’t know was that he and a Dr. Louis Falkenberg, D.O., got in cahoots together and attempted to leverage my business.  I’m quite sure there were other parties involved and even now I hold some fear of retribution if I mention the wrong name.  Falkenberg is dead so I don’t have to worry about him.  I did most any surgery, but never elective chest surgery and no brain surgery.  After doing a number of laminectomies in Tampa, and having a neurosurgeon come on that staff and tell me I had no business doing surgeries for ruptured disc, I let him take over that arena.  Was a bad move because of the problems he incurred.  Another story, another time.  So, in doing a particular type of fractured hip, I would call the OR and tell the nurse in charge, I would be doing an Austin-Moore prosthesis, or a Smith-Peterson appliance, and the nurse would board the case with the proper communication so that it all went smoothly.  This would imply notifying anesthesia and the nurse to scrub on the case as well as the OR supervisor in charge of keeping equipment ready and available for whatever.  One morning, I came in to do an Austin-Moore prosthesis.  The patient was brought into the room and placed under anesthesia and positioned for the surgery while I changed clothes and scrubbed.  With the scrub nurse and tech assistant there, I made the incision, dissected down to the acetabulum, and extracted the femoral head.  I measured the head and said “I’ll need a 40 mm”, or whatever it measured.  The scrub nurse said, “Doctor, I’m sorry but the administrator would not allow us to purchase the full complement after we used that size the last time and we don’t have a femoral head Moore that will fit”.  I almost lost my cool.  What?  What are you saying?  What kind of nonsense is this?…and probably some blue words as well. I can’t put this one back in, and I can’t close her up like this, so what the hell am I supposed to do?  She said, “We have a total hip prosthesis”.  Well, I had never done a total hip prosthesis, but I had done the parts of one side or the other and I finally said to get me the total prosthesis and I used that.  The patient didn’t need a total hip but she ended up with one and she did well.  I went immediately to the administrator and complained violently.  Now, this HAD to have been known by the entire OR crew before I even got into the hospital.  Including a couple names I can not mention.  It has taken me some years to contemplate this and that last bit didn’t come to me then.  I was upset, and irate.  Frightened for the patient, as complications arise with the more complicated procedure.  I was in the middle of marital problems at home and just working was about all that was keeping my head on straight.  About 3-4 weeks later, it happened again, and I did not ask if everything was ready.  The case went as usual right up until I asked for the prosthesis.  Perhaps I should have researched better, but I trusted my crew.  I would never have thought they would do this to me…or to a patient.  I went through the same line of complaint etc.  A few weeks later, I was served a summons:  An Administrative Actioon by the State of Florida, essentially a malpractice case against me by the state.  I had to hire my own attorney and I was very bewildered.   In the meantime, I was placed in judgement by two M.D. orthopods, the one from St. Anthonys hospital who sat in judgement against me on the Demopolis case and a foreign M.D. who had just started practice in Tampa and St. Pete.  I had the patient parade in front of them to show that I had not harmed her and that she had done well with the procedure, and I admitted she didn’t need that particular surgery, and I explained the happening.  The court was held in Tallahassee Florida and the room was full.  I formally explained everything that had happened, but I did Not say the things I’ve come to understand since then….as they did not come to me till years later.  Finally Dr. Plato Varidin stood up and explained to the court that it was a personal vendetta that went on and led to these happenings.  I was exonerated but not unscathed.  This was only one more of the circumstances that led me to moving out of Florida.  I wish I could go in front of the court now and explain it all with names.  To my knowledge, this has never been followed up on by the state of Florida.

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