reply to post by FlyersFan
Are you from philadelphia?
So was I, and I practiced radiology at a suburban hospital system there for many years as a resident, fellow,
and staff person until my physician wife and I left (to my dismay, since I was born in PA).
We left because A) she couldn't pay her malpractice insurance 1 year out of training (we already
were -$25k from her first year premium), and it was to double every year for the next 4 (!).
B) I was afraid of being sued every couple of years - like everyone else in southeastern PA - no matter
what i did, right, wrong, correct, incorrect - etc.
It upsets ME to have my own family members misdiagnosed by other doctors as well - hard to believe?
As a physician , you can oversee and doublecheck things other physicians do, but outside yours specialty
you should (for moral/ ethical reasons), have your family's health care in the hands of someone other than
a family member.
My father was misdiagnosed with "hearburn" for months, then he became a type 1 diabetic at age 78,
and was dead a year later from pacreatic carcinoma - a delay in diagnosis of easily 6 months.
Do i feel bad, YUP!
Do i blame his doctor - yes ...and no!
I myself didn't pick it up as i wasn't in PA to examine him - and reflux disease is so common its hard
to doubt. My error in diagnosis was not factoring in how little my own dad complained about his pain,
to the point of misdiagnosis.
Ive been a patient too - as of today in fact - and the patient usually contributes to muddling of the diagnosis as
well (for all the various reasons you can think of).
my dear, we are all human. The crux of the problem is not that many medical mistakes are being made,
because they will until robots replace doctors (**and that's coming**).
The real problem is the large, institutionalized group practice of medicine - and all the bad things that
come from ultra large hospitals / universities / health systems. I will be the first to state
"I love the art of medicine, but hate being told how to practice it by the institution."
I could rant even longer about the litany of offensive things former employers (hospitals, chairmen, senior
partners, insurers!) told me to do, and how defensive the older physicians were when they were confronted
(rarely!) about their mistakes. As long as there are large groups with economic vested interests in how
medicine is practiced, doctors will not be free to practice the humane art of medicine that existed
now and then 2 decades ago. I feel i still practice well enough - but am sickened by our system's airport
mentality. We can't treat patients like passengers on a plane - and passengers on a plane are now
being treated worse than livestock - so hopefully something will change soon.*
(* and therein lies the solution: smaller groups of physicians who don't have the sword of the insurer hanging
over their exam room limiting their time - TIME - with the patient will lead to better care, and a much
more satisfying experience for your doctor. Patients never hear us - doctors - complain to each other
of how ridiculous the time crunch foisted ON us by conflicting interests interferes with the real enjoyment
of practicing. It all trickles down from the private sector: If no one constrains medical equipment manufacturers
prices, pharmaceutical companies outrageous business practices, home health care's enormous cost and
ease of fraud, unfettered tort malpractice lawyers, and insurer's lust for profits (they are in the 10-35% profit
range, while MA hospitals are 1-3%!), then how in the world will doctors improve their care and reduce
mistakes?- when medicare pay is constantly being cut, malpractice rates and school costs keep going up,
regulations are being leveled at docs and hospitals (the poorest lobbies believe it or not!)) >phew< i gotta stop.
good topic though!
edit on 11/15/2010 by drphilxr because: ranting and raving...