A doctor in northern Florida is under criminal investigation after he was seen on video shouting at a patient to “get the hell out” of an urgent-care clinic, then apparently grabbing her daughter's cellphone, which was recording the incident.
Peter Gallogly, a physician at Gainesville After-Hours Clinic, was captured on video Monday arguing with a patient who was scolding him for a long wait time.
“Are you kidding me?” Gallogly shouted at the patient, Jessica Stipe, reminding her that he had already tested her urine. “Does that take three seconds, you think?”
“I don’t know how long it takes,” Stipe said.
“Do you want to be seen or not?” he replied.
Stipe told the doctor that she was “miserable” and just wanted to “go home and get in my bed.”
“Fine,” Gallogly responded, “then get the hell out. Get your money and get the hell out.”
When Stipe told him he was being rude, he shouted: “Get the f--- out of my office. Now.”
Stipe’s daughter, who was recording the incident on a cellphone, then asked the doctor for his name. He appeared to snatch the cellphone out of her hand and walk away with it, saying, “You're recording this?”
Gainesville police spokesman Ben Tobias told The Washington Post that officers responded to the incident and have opened a criminal investigation into the case.
Stipe posted the video Monday night on Facebook, writing that she had made an appointment for 6:30 p.m. Stipe, who said she was “in severe pain and throwing up in the trash can,” had still not been seen at 7:45 p.m.
She said she requested that her co-pay be returned to her so she could go home to bed and then seek treatment elsewhere the next day. She said the doctor was “mad” and “when he saw it was being recorded he snatched my baby’s phone and shoved her when she tried to get it back.”
A person who answered the phone at the Gainesville After-Hours Clinic on Thursday declined to comment, but a statement on the medical center's Facebook page states that there was more to the exchange.
Gallogly, the physician, wrote that the video shows only the final moments of an hour-long argument, claiming that throughout her time in the clinic, Stipe had become “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.”
He said that even after Stipe’s co-payment had been returned to her, she would not leave.
When he walked into the waiting room to speak with her, he said, Stipe and her daughter “cursed and threatened me as they had done with the office staff previously.”
“At the very end of the events,” he said in the statement, “I most regrettably lost my temper, and spoke to the women in a most unprofessional manner. I make no excuses for my unacceptable behavior.”
The urgent care clinic also appeared to post an incident report and written testimonies from witnesses, but Gainesville police would not confirm whether those were legitimate police documents.
After the video spread throughout social media, Stipe said in a statement Tuesday that she was still sick and tired but wanted to set the record straight.
“Yes I'm employed, I don’t do drugs & yes I wanted meds . . . a antibiotic!” she wrote. “To those of you who support me you have my heartfelt thanks . . . to those who know me . . . you know this was uncalled for & for those of you who don’t and are being rude and hateful to me and my child . . . god bless your hearts. I pray you and your kids are never in this situation . . . you may sing a different tune if you are.”