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Old 05-06-2013, 04:21 PM
 
219 posts, read 230,778 times
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Medical mistakes do happen often but not nearly as often as suggested in the original post. There are systems in place to address these mistakes. If a problem is found it is usually reported and some sort of investigation is done. This system is not perfect as there are still tons of mistakes being made.

A lot of these mistakes are made by training physicians/nurses at large teaching hospitals.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:43 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,263 posts, read 32,182,843 times
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HODAD: Hands of Death and Destruction. According to Makary, it's a term used by residents to describe doctors who shouldn't be touching patients. According to Google, it's a surfer term for a non-surfer who pretends to be a surfer. When I googled "hodad doctor" I found every single link referencing Makary. So it sounds to me as though he's making that up. I've never heard the term used in any of the times I've been hospitalized, or when my sister was hospitalized. I've never heard it whispered, or said aside from one nurse to another, or in the ER, or anywhere else. And apparently, neither has Google.

5th leading cause of death - I already went over that. Makary is either making that up, or he's twisting the CDC list that has "accidents" as the leading cause of death - by isolating "medical mistakes" from the "accidents" category. ACCIDENTS are the leading cause of death. Not all accidents are medical mistakes. But, assuming the medical mistakes are truly mistakes, and not intentional, you can say that all medical mistakes are accidents.

I think Makary is twisting truths to push his agenda, creating his own little bit of revisionist history to emphasize his expertise in patient safety. I also think that ABC's 20/20 is very good at sensationalism, and has edited the nurse's comments such that it's pretty obvious some of the things she said were edited completely out of context.

Yes, there ARE medical mistakes. And yes, there ARE irresponsible doctors. And yes, there DOES need to be better country-wide oversight, like there is with airline pilots. But the comparison isn't exactly fair, either. A pilot will transport several -hundred- people every day. A doctor in private practice might treat only a dozen. An ER surgeon might treat 5, or as many as 50. But definitely not several hundred in a day. The likelihood of a "bad" pilot injuring/killing hundreds of people in a single day, are significantly higher than the likelihood of a "bad" surgeon injuring/killing hundreds of people in a single day. Since the risk is higher for a pilot (potentially injuring/killing hundreds all in one fell swoop, vs. potentially injuring/killing *one* person in a single surgery) - it stands to reason the pilots will have far more oversight. There's a lot more to lose for the airline, for the pilot, and for everyone on board, if a pilot screws up.

EVERYONE makes mistakes. Everyone. There exists no person who doesn't ever make any mistakes, ever. The trouble is that with medicine, a mistake can cost lives, livelihoods, and millions of dollars. With a floral arranger, a mistake means a disappointment for the bride. With a grocery store clerk, it means ringing up the wrong price and possibly pissing off a customer. With an elementary school teacher, it means the students will believe that in 1493, Columbus sailed the deep blue sea. You -cannot- expect a doctor to not make mistakes. It is an unrealistic expectation. I do agree with Makary that there needs to be more transparency; if a doctor makes a mistake, there needs to be some way of informing the patient, in a way that won't make matters worse. Because there -are- sue-happy people just itching to get their laywers and get rich on the mistakes of doctors. There -are- people with an axe to grind against the medical profession as a whole, who would just LOVE to hear those words "we made a mistake."

Perhaps that is part of the reason why they keep the news to themselves. It doesn't excuse it, or justify it, but it might explain it.

It's all well and good to say "we need more transparency." Any armchair critic can make that lofty statement. It takes an actual professional to say "we need more transparency, and here's the plan on implementing it, and these are the government officials I have spoken to about it, and these are the hospital meetings I've attended and spoken as patient advocate about the issue, and here's what we are DOING to make it happen."

I haven't read Makary's book, but the 20/20 piece didn't even -mention- that Makary had a plan to DO something about all the stuff he says need to be changed. So within the confines of that 20/20 piece, Makary is nothing more than an armchair critic, and so was ABC.

Last edited by AnonChick; 05-06-2013 at 08:46 PM.. Reason: fixed the spelling of Makary but it's all blue cause I copy/pasted from the OP.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:27 AM
 
487 posts, read 595,928 times
Reputation: 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swack View Post
Medical mistakes do happen often but not nearly as often as suggested in the original post. There are systems in place to address these mistakes. If a problem is found it is usually reported and some sort of investigation is done. This system is not perfect as there are still tons of mistakes being made.

A lot of these mistakes are made by training physicians/nurses at large teaching hospitals.
I beg to differ since I've experienced it myself as well as some people I know who went through hell
because of their experienced doctors and surgeons. And none of them or I sued.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToucheGA View Post
I agree with your sentiments, 100%. However, this certainly reflects the nature of this forum. Sometimes, the advice that OPs get serves to send them in the right direction as they look for a professional who can help them.
I understand why people seek advice on this forum. The reason I brought that up was to demonstrate
how so many are confused, feel helpless and want help. These same people have gone to doctors
and some to several doctors but are still having serious problems.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
11,537 posts, read 6,080,720 times
Reputation: 45206
Quote:
Originally Posted by key4lp View Post
Just browsing on CD health forum, I can see people seeking answers for some serious medical problems.
If it is a serious problem then please see a doctor.
I do understand a doctor's frustration with internet information. However, not all patients do that. As an
educated professional I expect a doctor to be thorough and listen as well as read all the forms I filled out
about my medical history. I expect as a consumer to have a question answered without the superiority
attitude and/or the attitude that I'm wasting his time. I've had some doctors who ruined the quality of
my life and others due to their incompetency. Luckily, I did find physicians who did listen and were
very knowledgeable and also agreed that the others who did the damage were wrong.
I hear what you're saying. I've dealt with my share of arrogant MD's that have made me shake my head and wonder how they ever made it through school. I had a friend that died from a hernia repair. Working in health care for 25 years has left me terrified of ever having to be in the hospital. There is a lot of mistrust from my patients family members as well that makes it difficult for those of us in health care that are good at what we do and have their family members best interest at heart. Add to that the excessive work loads and assembly line factory mentality that most hospitals institute because of the benefit cuts and there is a recipe for disaster. I have a good friend that's a PI attorney and specializes in medical mistakes. He told me that the rich people send their children to medical school even though a lot of them are not cut out to be MD's. Money talks. He also told me that he looses a vast majority of his cases because juries can't believe that MD's make mistakes. You can always fire your MD any time you feel that they are not performing to your satisfaction. I fired quite a few that couldn't help me with a super bug I picked up at work in 06. One told me that I had Lupus. The blood unnecessary blood test said otherwise. Yep fired that idiot right away. The good news is that we do have a choice who takes care of us. The bad news is that it's often difficult finding the right MD.
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:54 PM
 
487 posts, read 595,928 times
Reputation: 602
Precisely. ^^^^I did "fire" but really I ran like a cat out of hell with some of the doctors I've had. Unfortunately,
they got paid by me and my insurance company no refunds. Since I was a teacher I had many students who
were children of doctors. Most went into medical school and became doctors.....frightening since they couldn't
write, retain information and some were just plain goofy. Even though they were nice, if I ever saw them
walking in as a patient, I think I'd request my last rights by a priest.
Just applying to medical schools can cost thousands of dollars. Some applications start from $500.00 and up.
Students who apply have to send several applications.....so who do people think is applying?
Granted there are exceptions but the majority are those from wealthy families, many of whom are doctors,
and since their parents are doctors they certainly have an advantage - clout and an inside recommendation.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:44 PM
 
219 posts, read 230,778 times
Reputation: 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by key4lp View Post
I beg to differ since I've experienced it myself as well as some people I know who went through hell
because of their experienced doctors and surgeons. And none of them or I sued.
Experienced doctors and surgeons are not infallible. They are human, of course they still make mistakes. However most mistakes are still made during training. Interns and brand new nurses make the most mistakes. This is why they tell you to try to avoid the hospital in July/August as this is when all the new medical and nursing interns start.
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:18 PM
 
219 posts, read 230,778 times
Reputation: 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by animalcrazy View Post
I hear what you're saying. I've dealt with my share of arrogant MD's that have made me shake my head and wonder how they ever made it through school. I had a friend that died from a hernia repair. Working in health care for 25 years has left me terrified of ever having to be in the hospital. There is a lot of mistrust from my patients family members as well that makes it difficult for those of us in health care that are good at what we do and have their family members best interest at heart. Add to that the excessive work loads and assembly line factory mentality that most hospitals institute because of the benefit cuts and there is a recipe for disaster. I have a good friend that's a PI attorney and specializes in medical mistakes. He told me that the rich people send their children to medical school even though a lot of them are not cut out to be MD's. Money talks. He also told me that he looses a vast majority of his cases because juries can't believe that MD's make mistakes. You can always fire your MD any time you feel that they are not performing to your satisfaction. I fired quite a few that couldn't help me with a super bug I picked up at work in 06. One told me that I had Lupus. The blood unnecessary blood test said otherwise. Yep fired that idiot right away. The good news is that we do have a choice who takes care of us. The bad news is that it's often difficult finding the right MD.
Quote:
Originally Posted by key4lp View Post
Precisely. ^^^^I did "fire" but really I ran like a cat out of hell with some of the doctors I've had. Unfortunately,
they got paid by me and my insurance company no refunds. Since I was a teacher I had many students who
were children of doctors. Most went into medical school and became doctors.....frightening since they couldn't
write, retain information and some were just plain goofy. Even though they were nice, if I ever saw them
walking in as a patient, I think I'd request my last rights by a priest.
Just applying to medical schools can cost thousands of dollars. Some applications start from $500.00 and up.
Students who apply have to send several applications.....so who do people think is applying?
Granted there are exceptions but the majority are those from wealthy families, many of whom are doctors,
and since their parents are doctors they certainly have an advantage - clout and an inside recommendation.
America has the worst tort litigation in the world. This has led to massive tort reform due to the drain on our economy and legal system. It has also instilled a fear in most doctors that they may some day end up in a court room. There is actually a lot of training that goes into practicing PC and non-offensive medicine. We are taught to "fear" our patients. Imagine that, a doctor who fears his/her own patient. This is the reality of today's medicine.

America has the best medical schools in the world (except maybe Canada). The standard for becoming a doctor in America is very high. To become a doctor, you must earn acceptance to a medical school, finish medical school, pass 3 sets of boards, finish a minimum 3 year residency, earn state licensure, pass subspecialty boards, and maintain board certification. During any part of this process, you can fail. It does help to have money, it can especially help during medical school acceptance, but money will not help you pass your boards or finish training. The process to become a doctor is HEAVILY regulated, almost too much so.
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:38 PM
 
487 posts, read 595,928 times
Reputation: 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swack View Post
Experienced doctors and surgeons are not infallible. They are human, of course they still make mistakes. However most mistakes are still made during training. Interns and brand new nurses make the most mistakes. This is why they tell you to try to avoid the hospital in July/August as this is when all the new medical and nursing interns start.
None of the doctors I was speaking of were interns, these were all "noted" specialists in the area
and had over 20 years of experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swack View Post
America has the worst tort litigation in the world. This has led to massive tort reform due to the drain on our economy and legal system. It has also instilled a fear in most doctors that they may some day end up in a court room. There is actually a lot of training that goes into practicing PC and non-offensive medicine. We are taught to "fear" our patients. Imagine that, a doctor who fears his/her own patient. This is the reality of today's medicine.

America has the best medical schools in the world (except maybe Canada). The standard for becoming a doctor in America is very high. To become a doctor, you must earn acceptance to a medical school, finish medical school, pass 3 sets of boards, finish a minimum 3 year residency, earn state licensure, pass subspecialty boards, and maintain board certification. During any part of this process, you can fail. It does help to have money, it can especially help during medical school acceptance, but money will not help you pass your boards or finish training. The process to become a doctor is HEAVILY regulated, almost too much so.
Litigation is not limited to those in the medical profession. I mentioned that I nor those I knew sued but
looking back at what some doctors did we should have. Fortunately after going through a revolving door
of doctors, I have found some excellent ones who do not fear their patients because they are excellent
at what they do. What a shame to teach fear.
Having relatives who are doctors I am well aware of the process to become a doctor.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Cartersville, GA
1,237 posts, read 2,634,030 times
Reputation: 1029
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swack View Post
America has the worst tort litigation in the world. This has led to massive tort reform due to the drain on our economy and legal system. It has also instilled a fear in most doctors that they may some day end up in a court room. There is actually a lot of training that goes into practicing PC and non-offensive medicine. We are taught to "fear" our patients. Imagine that, a doctor who fears his/her own patient. This is the reality of today's medicine.

America has the best medical schools in the world (except maybe Canada). The standard for becoming a doctor in America is very high. To become a doctor, you must earn acceptance to a medical school, finish medical school, pass 3 sets of boards, finish a minimum 3 year residency, earn state licensure, pass subspecialty boards, and maintain board certification. During any part of this process, you can fail. It does help to have money, it can especially help during medical school acceptance, but money will not help you pass your boards or finish training. The process to become a doctor is HEAVILY regulated, almost too much so.
I cannot agree more. Doctors do a multitude of tests that are not medical necessary, because of the minute chance that one of those tests will reveal a condition that could be harmful or deadly, if untreated. If they do theses tests, the public complains that they are unnecessary. If they do not do the tests, they get sued if the patient later gets sick (or dies) from a condition that they "missed." The physician is therefore in a double bind.

The best you can do, as a patient, is to educate yourself about what is needed, and what is not needed. If the physician suggests a test that you do not think is necessary, respectfully decline the test. That way, the physician can document your refusal. If you get sick or die as from a condition that would have been caught by that test (yes, this is a possibility, perhaps a remote possibility), the doctor has a way to defend himself, in the likely event that he is sued for a few million dollars (and/or if someone complaints to his/her licensure board.)

If you fear that you doctor may make a mistake, you are right. They are human. If you feel this is an unacceptable risk, don't see a doctor when you get sick, and hope that you do not die as a result. Good luck.
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:19 PM
 
3,799 posts, read 4,499,249 times
Reputation: 3427
Quote:
Originally Posted by animalcrazy View Post
I hear what you're saying. I've dealt with my share of arrogant MD's that have made me shake my head and wonder how they ever made it through school. I had a friend that died from a hernia repair. Working in health care for 25 years has left me terrified of ever having to be in the hospital. There is a lot of mistrust from my patients family members as well that makes it difficult for those of us in health care that are good at what we do and have their family members best interest at heart. Add to that the excessive work loads and assembly line factory mentality that most hospitals institute because of the benefit cuts and there is a recipe for disaster. I have a good friend that's a PI attorney and specializes in medical mistakes. He told me that the rich people send their children to medical school even though a lot of them are not cut out to be MD's. Money talks. He also told me that he looses a vast majority of his cases because juries can't believe that MD's make mistakes. You can always fire your MD any time you feel that they are not performing to your satisfaction. I fired quite a few that couldn't help me with a super bug I picked up at work in 06. One told me that I had Lupus. The blood unnecessary blood test said otherwise. Yep fired that idiot right away. The good news is that we do have a choice who takes care of us. The bad news is that it's often difficult finding the right MD.
so true! and then some!
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