Jessica Stipe was in so much pain that she was throwing up in the trash can in the waiting room of the Florida clinic where she had a 6:30 p.m. appointment on Monday, she says.
But by 7:45 p.m., she still hadn’t been seen, she wrote on Facebook. Stipe believed she had symptoms of pneumonia, according to the Independent Florida Alligator, the University of Florida’s student newspaper.
“All they had me do was pee in a cup to see if I'm pregnant,” Stipe, 38, wrote on Facebook. “I know I'm not.”
That’s when she decided to confront her doctor, at about 7:45 p.m., she wrote, in an argument that quickly escalated and allegedly resulted in her daughter getting shoved. And the entire scene was caught on tape by Stipe’s daughter — until the doctor grabbed her phone.
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Now the doctor, Peter Gallogly, of Gainesville After Hours Clinic, is being investigated by the Gainesville Police Department, Officer Ben Tobias told the Gainesville Sun on Tuesday.
Gallogy says the video doesn’t show the events that led up to the confrontation. In a post on the clinic’s Facebook page, he says Stipe was “... increasingly belligerent and abusive to the office staff ...”
The video has been viewed 250,000 times on Facebook, as of Wednesday afternoon.
When Stipe asked for her co-pay back, the doctor got terse, video shows, and told her that she’d be waiting even longer if she were in the emergency room or at another clinic.
“Are you kidding me?” the doctor asks, his voice raised. “We’ve already been working on you. We’ve done a urine test on you. I’ve seen you.”
But the woman said that she’d been misled about the wait times, and that she hadn’t gotten the treatment she had come in for.
“You came in and said, ‘I’m going to check your pee,’” she responded. “I’m miserable.”
When Stipe said she just wanted to go to bed, the doctor pointed towards the door.
“Then fine. Get the hell out,” he said. “Get your money and get the hell out.....If you go to CareSpot you’re waiting for three hours. Go to the ER and wait for nine hours.”
But as Stipe and her daughter were walking out, the doctor realized the daughter had been recording the entire tense exchange.
“Mom, I got it on video, it doesn’t matter,” the daughter said, and asked the doctor: “What’s your name?”
So he grabbed the phone and began to walk off with it, video shows.
A representative from Gainesville After Hours, the clinic where the confrontation happened, declined to comment to WGFL. The clinic didn’t respond to the Gainesville Sun’s request for comment, either.
The clinic posted a statement from Gallogly on its Facebook page Wednesday afternoon.
“Ms. Stipe had been increasingly belligerent and abusive to the office staff, cursing them and threatening them with violence, because she was unwell and had been waiting to be seen by me for more than an hour,” Gallogly wrote. “I went to the front desk only because after Ms. Stipe received her refund, she refused to leave the office, and continued her abusive behavior towards staff.”
Stipe posted another Facebook status yesterday thanking friends for supporting her.
“To those of you who support me you have my heartfelt thanks,” she wrote. “You know this was uncalled for & for those of you who don't and are being rude and hateful to me and my child.”
“At the end of the events, I most regrettably lost my temper, and spoke to the women in a most unprofessional manner,” Gallogly said. “I make no excuses for my unacceptable behavior. But please appreciate that the video is but the last minute or two of a very abusive tirade against my office staff by the two women.”