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Sacramento Doctor Zooms in for Traffic Court While Performing Surgery


We’ve seen all kinds of strange things on Zoom since the start of the pandemic. From rambunctious virtual classrooms and business meetings gone awry to pesky pets that like to climb in front of the webcam, conducting business via live video isn’t always easy.

Sacramento doctor Scott Green took things to a new level late last week when he attended virtual traffic court on Zoom while performing surgery. Talk about pulling double duty.

Zooming in for Traffic Court

When the webcam came on, Sacramento Scott Green was wearing scrubs and gloves, catching the traffic court clerk off guard. “Hello, Mr. Green? Are you available for trial?” the clerk asked. “It kind of looks like you’re in an operating room right now?”

But Green was unperturbed. “I am, sir,” Green responded, “Yes, I’m in an operating room right now. I’m available for trial. Go right ahead.”

Sacramento Superior Court Commissioner Gary Link soon entered the room. When he saw that Green appeared to be mid-surgery, he called for a postponement to the hearing.

“Unless I’m mistaken, I’m seeing a defendant that’s in the middle of an operating room appearing to be actively engaged in providing services to a patient,” he said. “Is that correct, Mr. Green?”

Green confirmed that he was performing surgery at the same time.

“I do not feel comfortable for the welfare of a patient if you’re in the process of operating that I would put on a trial notwithstanding the fact the officer is here today,” the commissioner said.

“I have another surgeon right here who’s doing the surgery with me, so I can stand here and allow them to do the surgery also,” Green replied.

Despite Green’s assurances that he could perform both tasks at once, Commissioner Link decided to reschedule in the best interest of the patient.

“I don’t think so. I don’t think that’s appropriate,” Link commented, preferring a date when Green wouldn’t be ” actively involved or participating and attending to the needs of a patient.”

Green apologized for pulling double duty, adding that surgery timing can be difficult to plan.

“It happens. We want to keep people healthy; we want to keep them alive. That’s important.” Link responded before assigning Dr. Green a new hearing date for March.

The Medical Board of California in a statement Friday said it would investigate the incident saying it “expects physicians to follow the standard of care when treating their patients.”

Going Viral for Zooming

Scoot Green’s moment on Zoom has since been making the rounds online and on social media. The entire session was uploaded to YouTube. State law mandates that all traffic court proceedings remain open to the public, according to the Sacramento Bee.

It was just two weeks ago that a Texas County court hearing went viral when one of the lawyers appeared on Zoom with a cat filter over his face.

The judge later shared the hilarious exchange on social media, posting, “IMPORTANT ZOOM TIP: If a child used your computer, before you join a virtual hearing check the Zoom Video Options to be sure filters are off.”

The lawyer, Rod Ponton, tried to turn off the filter throughout the meeting, but it didn’t go as planned. At one point, he told the judge, “I’m prepared to move forward with it.”

Towards the end of the hearing, he added, “I’m here live. I’m not a cat.” After the incident, Ponton said his secretary added the filter by mistake. Ponton added, “It was a case involving a man trying to exit the United States with contraband and contraband cash.”

The judge added in a follow-up tweet, “These fun moments are a by-product of the legal profession’s dedication to ensuring that the justice system continues to function in these tough times.”

From awkward moments to downright inappropriate behavior, apps like Zoom and Skype give us a window into each other’s lives during these unprecedented times. After some disastrous sessions, some might hope that we’ll be able to delete these apps for good. 

Steven Briggs
Steven Briggs is a healthcare writer for Scrubs Magazine, hailing from Brooklyn, NY. With both of his parents working in the healthcare industry, Steven writes about the various issues and concerns facing the industry today.

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