You don’t need to be a brain surgeon to reckon drunk driving maims and kills innocent folks every single day of the year in this country. The keen reality is that urban driving is the single most dangerous thing the typical American does at all – even when everybody in the car is sober. So when you toss a few drinks into the equation, it’s lethal and it’s reckless.
And when you combine those ingredients with preposterous physician ego, it’s flat-out stupid.
As career Paramedics, my partners and I have responded to well over 20,000 emergency calls. And 6,202 of those 911 screams for help, were car crashes. So we know a bit of what we speak.
Thus, it stands to reason it might capture Medical Miscreant’s attention when a repeat drunk-driver turns out to be – and you might want to hold your ponies here – a brain surgeon. And nothing raises our hackles quicker than the routine, limp-wristed, doctor discipline that this surgeon was dealt – discipline that would never be proffered to those who don’t happen to wear lab coats to work.
In fact, what passes for physician punishment just plain pisses us off. Which is precisely why we opt for public exposure and embarrassment of these cretins every chance we get. If we don’t tell you, who else will?
And so it came to pass that while surgical patients at Aurora-St. Lukes Medical Center in Milwaukee were being prepped and readied for their operations by an entirely sober and professional nursing staff, their surgeon was sitting on a cold bench in the city jail.
Their doctor had gotten snockered, stupid and insufferable the night before, and it wasn’t the first time. Now, if anybody on the planet should know the affects on the brain by alcohol – you’d think a brain surgeon would know the drill and actually give a damn, would you not?
Police Officer: “Would you like to perform the test for me, so we can get this over with?”
Macias: “Guys look, I am a neurosurgeon here.”
Police video clearly showed the doctor struggling to complete her “drunk vs not drunk” line dance. It wasn’t her best performance.
The woman was on the surgical tracking board, scheduled to perform 2 early morning surgeries. Out of sheer dumb luck for the patients, those operations didn’t happen.
Macias: “Call the office at 8 am and tell them that I’ve had . . . I don’t know fucking what to say.”
Well, we know what to say. This wasn‘t Macias’ first Drunk Driving Rodeo. It was her third.
Of course, in keeping with the White Coat Conspiracy of Silence, none of her vulnerable patients ever knew any of this. The last thing hospitals will ever tell you, is who their dangerous doctors are. That would be medical apostasy, damned near approaching heresy.
So Medical Miscreant Macias continued right on performing complex surgeries at St. Luke’s for months after her arrest, while under an alcohol monitoring stipulation. Not one of her patients knew that, nor of her upcoming criminal charges, until she confessed half a year later. After she was found guilty last August, Aurora Health Care had the good sense to fire her. But in keeping with the carved-in-stone, healthcare zeitgeist, the hospital only told patients that “Doctor Macias is no longer with Aurora Health.”
On the night Brookfield Police stopped Macias for driving drunk, she had left Neroli Hair Salon. Salon staff were forced to call 911 because employees described the doctor’s behavior as “downright crazy.”
Salon staff members told police the doctor had gone berserk when she didn’t like the way her hair cut looked. So she knocked an entire display of hair products to the floor and smashed a glass vase. Then she left without paying for either her hair work or the damages.
A real class act.
During her second drunk driving arrest in Illinois several years before, the lab coat loon “banged her handcuffs on a table” repeatedly and warned the police they’d “better hope you never need my help in the ER!”
Macias eventually told state investigators she accepted “full accountability” for her actions, but stupidly said she was “off duty” at the time of her arrest, and never “endangered the safety” of patients.
Of course, in keeping with the Howdy Doodie puppet play of medical board questioning of physician misbehavior, they allowed her to coyly sidestep the little matter, that she absolutely would have been performing brain surgery on 2 unconscious people while still legally – and functionally – impaired. When it comes to real patient safety, why on earth would the board focus on the only important question?
In the end, Macias cut a deal that allowed her to keep her medical license, as long as she stayed sober and continued alcohol treatment. Because in the Twilight Zone called American medicine . . . that’s precisely what passes for drunk doctor discipline. Go figure.
The screaming surgeon left Wisconsin after she was fired, and is now gainfully employed by South Texas Brain & Spine Center in Corpus Christi Texas. If patients there happen to check the Texas Medical Board website, they’ll see that Dr. Macias reports having no criminal history, and no history of disciplinary action by other state boards. That’s what we call a “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” entry on a legal license application. Taco Bell would have never fallen for that nonsense, because fast-food joints – as opposed to surgical centers – actually do intelligent background checks.
Macias had never been disciplined by the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board prior to this case, but she has had 6 patient outcome complaints since 2004, including 5 complaints in less than 3 years.
In 2014, Macias was accused of giving a high dose of narcotics to a patient who subsequently suffered a stroke. The state board closed that case with no sanctions after she agreed to a $200,000 dollar settlement for the now-maimed patient.
The Texas Medical Board – like most state boards – rarely checks to verify whether doctors applying for state licenses are lying. And even after we informed the Texas Medical Board of this MD’s criminal conviction and history of misbehavior, a spokeswoman answered that Macias’ case can not be “updated until her license is due for renewal.”
You can trip over more logic in a barnyard.
In the end, Macias informed the State of Wisconsin Medical Board that she had no plans to return. That’s probably a relief to Wisconsin folks. But how good is it for the unknowing new patients in Corpus Christi Texas?