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Physicians Ordered to Stay Apart After Breaking Out in a Fight


If you’ve ever had a disagreement with a colleague, you’re not alone. Dr. Daniel Barton was arrested after getting into a fight with a fellow physician at Mercy Health – St. Elizabeth Hospital in Boardman, OH. He’s accused of shoving his colleague during a heated discussion over a patient’s treatment. Now, he’s been ordered to stay away from the other physician. It’s giving a whole new meaning to social distancing.

Getting Physical at Work

The police were called to St. Elizabeth after the alleged fight broke out between Dr. Barton and one of his colleagues. According to the police report, the facility’s chief medical officer called authorities to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon. He reported that two doctors had been involved in a fight over a patient’s care.

Dr. Barton is a kidney specialist. He reportedly got into the fight with a heart doctor, who told police that the confrontation started after he sent Barton a message asking him why he stopped giving medication that he prescribed to a patient.

The heart doctor then followed up with Barton in person, who accused him of going behind his back to continue the medication. The heart doctor also told police that Barton told him that he should try answering his phone, as he tried calling him about the patient that he f***ed up, according to the report.

He said he repeatedly told Dr. Barton not to raise his voice during the disagreement. That’s when Barton pushed him, almost causing him to fall over. An RN and another employee quickly stepped in to break up the two before the confrontation could continue.

The doctor told police that he believed that Barton would have punched him if the other employees hadn’t been there to intervene. The police interviewed the RN and employee who stepped in to break up the fight. They both said they saw Barton push the heart doctor, according to the report.

The medication in question remains unclear, as well as the patient at the center of their disagreement.

The hospital released a statement regarding the incident:

“Mercy Health is a faith-based organization, and as such we hold our associates and affiliates to the highest ethical standards. Additionally, the safety, security and well-being of our patients, their families and our associates remain part of our core values as a health care ministry.

When we were notified of an alleged incident regarding a non-employed physician, we launched an internal investigation and notified our local authorities – the incident remains under investigation. There was never a threat to any patients. We have and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement.”

Social Distancing

Barton was arrested, and is now free on bond. According to Mercy Health, Barton is not an employee of the hospital. He has his own practice at Boardman, Associates in Nephrology

He’s still allowed to practice at St. Elizabeth, but he’s been ordered to stay away from the alleged victim while at work. He pleaded not guilty to one charge of assault in court on Tuesday and is due back next month.

Studies show that health care tends to be one of the most dangerous industries in the U.S., and nursing home workers tend to be the most at risk; however, providers tend to experience violence from patients – not one of their own. Having a disagreement over how to treat a patient can be a matter of life or death, but co-workers should be able to come up with a solution without resorting to violence.

The next time you have a disagreement at work, remember to take a breath and stay calm.


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