The NY Times' Lawrence Altman, a reporter who is also a doctor, writes about NJ Governor Corzine's medical treatment after his April 12 car accident. For any medical procedure (or procedural) buffs, it's an illuminating look at how medical professionals react to treating high-profile medical figures all while just trying to do the best job they can.
For instance, Cooper University Hospital's chief trauma orthopedist was watching the Phillies-Mets game at his home in Philadelphia when the announcer "interrupted to say that Gov. Jon S. Corzine was being flown to Cooper." So Dr. Robert F. Ostrum called Cooper to say he'd be heading in..
The doctors also discussed how Corzine's broken leg - which pierced through the skin - required an extended metal rod, how he was very lucky not to have any heart or lung damage, and how they monitored him for signs of paralysis. They even quizzed him on NJ current affairs to check out how his pain medication was affecting him: Corzine liked talking about sports a lot.
But the most fascinating part of the article is what isn't there. Altman writes:
Mr. Corzine still needs strong painkillers that can impair judgment, but he has not allowed the doctors to disclose the drugs’ names or share his X-rays or medical chart. He has also refused The New York Times’s repeated requests for interviews.
But in lengthy conversations with this reporter, who is a physician, the medical team that saved his life revealed many new details about Mr. Corzine’s injuries, his treatment and the first three and a half weeks of his recovery.
Hmm. Why won't Corzine talk to the Times? Corzine has spoken to the AP and Star-Ledger. Is he mad about their past coverage of him? The Times did point out that Corzine spent very little time in NJ while governor, but it's not like they put him on the cover as a crash test dummy the way the Post did. We suspect that Corzine must have given his doctors permission to talk to the Times (we're hazy on public disclosure of public officials' health status) - what do you think?
At any rate, NJ lawmakers are trying to be on the best behavior for the recovering governor - the Star-Ledger reports that Democratic Assembly members are trying to be cooperative, since Corzine said he had little patience for political infighting.
Photograph of Corzine at the NJ Governor's mansion by Mel Evans/AP