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Friday, November 29, 2013

So much for Hippocrates: Why docs won’t reveal each other’s mistakes

Research suggests physicians are concerned about becoming known as a tattler and losing referrals

By Marshall Allen
Propublica
Originally published November 12, 2013

Patients don’t always know when their doctor has made a medical error. But other doctors do.

A few years ago I called a Las Vegas surgeon because I had hospital data showing which of his peers had high rates of surgical injuries – things like removing a healthy kidney, accidentally puncturing a young girl’s aorta during an appendectomy and mistakenly removing part of a woman’s pancreas.

I wanted to see if he could help me investigate what happened. But the surgeon surprised me.

Before I could get a question out, he started rattling off the names of surgeons he considered the worst in town. He and his partners often had to correct their mistakes — “cleanup” surgeries, he said. He didn’t need a database to tell him which surgeons made the most mistakes.

The entire story is here.

Thanks to Gary Schoener for this article.
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