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Dr. Aubrey Tracey was a short-tempered surgeon at the Royal London Hospital, who presided over the male surgical ward. He featured in Series 2, Episode 4.At the end of this episode, he learned he had Parkinson's disease and left medicine. He is portrayed by Anthony Calf.

Overview Edit

When Jennifer Lee is seconded to the London due to their being short staffed, she is placed on the male surgical ward. There she meets Nurse Patsy Mount, who worked there at the time. Jenny first encounters the doctor when he comes in for rounds with his housemen, where he examines Jimmy after a suspected appendicitis. He is very brisk and rude to the nurses. Upon his examination, the doctor deems Jimmy's abdominal pains to be wedding nerves and opts not to operate, and discharges Jimmy. However, Jenny notices, but does not say, that the doctor had missed a step in his examination (auscultation of the abdomen to listen for bowel sounds, or the absence thereof).

During surgery, wherein Jenny is assisting, Dr. Tracey harshly scolds her for not immediately remembering the names of the instruments, and rudely tells her to hurry up. When Jenny does not know the answer to a question of what instrument to use (a trick question), Dr. Tracey tells her to leave and send in someone competent. He also snipes to his observing housemen that they are here to "learn from me, not nurse".

When Jenny and Patsy talk about the abrasive doctor, Patsy says that because he's a surgeon, no one reports him for his attitude, and everyone "tip-toes" about, never saying what they think. Patsy even says that she's thinking of leaving nursing all together. She even went for a job interview at a florist.

When Jenny is asked to do a patient's routine observations while Dr. Tracey is reviewing the patient's chart, she notices that the doctor has a noticeable tremor in his hand.

Later that night, Patsy comes to Jenny, asking for help in loading a trolley of tools as an emergency surgery is needed. Dr. Tracey was called in to operate on an "acute abdomen". It is revealed that the emergency case is Jimmy, who was discharged from the hospital at Dr. Tracey's request the week before. Jimmy is obviously very ill, screaming in pain, drenched in sweat and ashen.

Jimmy is septic, due to adhesion that cut off the blood supply to a part of the bowel, causing the tissue to die and the toxins to work their way into his bloodstream. Dr. Tracey asks why he was discharged in the first place, and Jenny reminds him that he was who discharged Jimmy. Boldly, Jenny says she will assist him, and although the doctor protests, she counters that there is no one else. In the operating theater, Jenny snaps back at Dr. Tracey, although he threatens her job for insolence. When the doctor makes a mistake in asking for a specific tool, but actually needing another, Jenny guides his attention to the one he will need and he chooses the correct tool.

Later, Jenny goes to see the Matron-in-Charge, and says that Dr. Tracey is driving nurses out of the male surgical ward due to his insufferable attitude. The Matron asks if the nurse has anything new to say, and Jenny tells her that the doctor has missed steps. Jenny tells her that if Dr. Tracey remembered the step of auscultation in Jimmy's initial exam, he would have realized sooner that his bowel was obstructed and the severity of his condition might have been avoided.

Jenny makes note of the doctor's small lapses of memory, and his tremor, and says it looks very much like Parkinson's Disease. The Matron calmly tells Jenny that the doctor had his own suspicions and has taken a voluntary leave of absence so he may get a diagnosis and treatment. She then commends Jenny on her insight and says that if Jenny ever tires of community midwifery, there is a job for her waiting.

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