Health system investigates photos taken in operating room


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A hospital system in western Michigan has launched an investigation after photos posted on Instagram appeared to show doctors posing with fibrous tissue and an organ removed during an operation.

A patient appears to be on an operating room table in the fibrous tissue photo, WOOD-TV reported Saturday.

“Longest one wins! Good work,” was written on the tissue post, according to the television station.

“The other game we play in the OR is guess that weight,” was posted with the organ photo, referencing the operating room. “It applies to much more than just babies. As always, ‘Price is Right’ rules apply so if you go over then you’re out!”

Members of the group behind the posts described themselves as 35 obstetrics and gynecology residents training at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids. The health system, which has more than a dozen hospitals, said it has launched an investigation.

“We were disappointed to learn that surgical images were posted on an Instagram account used by a group of residents and are taking steps to resolve this issue,” Spectrum Health said in a statement to the television station. “The Instagram account has been closed and a full investigation is underway.”

WOOD-TV said it messaged the group with questions Friday afternoon and the Instagram page was taken down a short time later. The page was not officially connected to Spectrum Health.

Caitlin Donovan, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based National Patient Advocate Foundation, said “health care is not a game to people, it’s their life.”

“How do you trust someone who does that?” Donovan said. “You want to make sure as a patient that you trust your provider. You want to make sure they respect you. If you don’t think your doctor respects you as a person, then how in the world can you trust them with your life?”

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