SCANDAL – ABC’s “Scandal” stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope. (Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images)


I am going to miss the rapid-fire intense dialogue, a trademark of the recently finished television show, Scandal. My favourite exchanges were between Olivia and her father Rowan. The cadence was hypnotic and immediately told what the characters are about.

In Olivia’s case, she was about being a gladiator, with a white hat. She fought for the good side and always knew how “to handle” whatever drama or conflict arose. She was smart, intense and knew how to win.

Many of my patients, especially those mistreated by powerful insurance companies, could have used an Olivia Pope in their corner. I have been fortunate to work with many good lawyers who have been as intense and tenacious as Olivia. They believed in what they were doing and have helped a lot.

Sometimes, patients find the strength to win their own battles. And this is inspiring.

One patient, I knew, was harassed by a psychologist and insurer, both of whom were relentless in pressuring her to do more than she was capable of. This pressure was exerted under threat of cutting off her long-term disability benefits.

As her stress and pain escalated, she kept getting more depressed. She felt beaten down and desperate.

She was also very smart and wondered if the psychologist had done this to any previous patients. She searched the internet and found that the psychologist had been disciplined previously, by the governing college, for similar tactics. She sent this information to the insurer.

The insurer then, smartly, decided to leave her alone. I think the insurer realized that if this case ever came to court, the discredited psychologist they hired would not be of much use to them. The insurer’s case may have been doomed, especially since there had already been many reports from the patient’s own doctors, supporting her.

My patient had found her own white hat to wear.

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