A health care network in Michigan said it had opened an investigation after some operating room doctors posted photos on social media last week showing themselves holding a surgically removed organ and tissue material as part of a game that they likened to “The Price Is Right.”
The doctors, who are employed as medical residents by Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Mich., and specialize in obstetrics and gynecology, asked people to guess how much an unidentified organ weighed, according to one of the Instagram posts obtained by the NBC affiliate WOOD-TV.
The station said it blurred part of the image in that post so that people could not tell what type of organ was shown in the post, which was shared publicly.
The posts appeared to show at least one patient in the background, the television station reported. They were taken down shortly after the station contacted the medical residents on Friday.
“The other game we play in the OR is guess that weight,” the post said. “It applies to much more than just babies. As always, ‘Price is Right’ rules apply so if you go over then you’re out!”
The doctor was referring to the television game show’s longstanding rule in which contestants who overestimate the value of a prize are disqualified.
Spectrum Health, which operates 14 hospitals in Western Michigan, three of which are in Grand Rapids, said in a statement on Sunday night that patient confidentiality was paramount.
“We were shocked and dismayed when we learned that surgical images were posted on an Instagram account not officially connected to Spectrum Health that was used by a group of medical residents,” the statement said. “This unacceptable behavior does not in any way reflect our organization, the outstanding professionalism of our medical staff or our resident physicians-in-training.”
It was not immediately clear which hospital or how many doctors were involved in the episode. None of the doctors who were involved have been identified. The Instagram handle used by the medical residents was @grandrapids_obgyn_residency.
“We are actively and comprehensively investigating this unfortunate incident,” Spectrum Health said. “These posts do not follow our code of excellence, our values or our expectations for team member behavior. We deeply value the trust that our patients have in us, and we work to strengthen this bond every day.”
In another photo that was shared publicly on Instagram by the medical residents, a doctor can be seen pointing to a strand of tissue after a patient had an operation to remove uterine fibroids, which are usually benign tumors but can hide a dangerous type of cancer.