Over 8,000 women were victims of a rogue gynecologist at Johns Hopkins who secretly took sexually explicit pictures and videos of his patients' during his examinations. Dr. Nikita Levy, a gynecologist who began practicing at Johns Hopkins in 1988, had been photographing his patients using hidden cameras in his exam room, including some he carried with him in the form of a pen. These patients filed a class action lawsuit, which later settled for $190 million, all of which was to compensate these women for the psychological trauma they experienced knowing Dr. Levy violated their trust when they were at their most vulnerable.
Last month, a neurosurgeon from Texas was convicted of harming an elderly patient in his operating room. Dr. Christopher Duntsch was indicted on five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of harming an elderly person, however the prosecution decided to only try the latter. The patient, 74-year-old Mary Efurd, was supposed to be undergoing a routine fusion of two vertabrae, but instead suffered severe pain from fusion hardware being misplaced in her soft muscle causing nerve damage. So how did this become a criminal case instead of a medical malpractice claim? Because Dr. Duntsch had done this before and he knew that his outcomes were so poor that Ms. Efurd was likely to wind up injured under his care.
"It wasn't like, I'm going to lie." It was, "I'm going to support my colleague."
A disturbing study conducted by researchers analyzing paid malpractice claims using the National Practitioner Data Bank reveals that doctors who get sued once, are twice as likely to have another claim made against them. That percentage continues to grow with each and every claim made after that: four times as likely for one who had four claims and 12 times more likely for a provider with 6 or more claims made against them.
Throughout much of the 20th century, most doctors acted as general practitioners instead of specializing in a particular area of medicine. This was considered to be a holistic approach to medicine that allowed one doctor to manage a patient's care and see them through from start to finish. Of course, this still allowed for a general practitioner to consult with a specialist if a particular issue was outside his "box," but the general practitioner was still the primary doctor and managed the overall care of the patient. In the 1970s and '80s, however, there was a shift in the medical industry where recent medical school graduates chose to pursue specializations instead of going into "general" medicine.
The prescription of opioid painkillers, such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin, is a popular way for doctors to treat chronic non-malignant medical conditions, such as lower back pain. Recently, however, the effectiveness of such treatment has been called into question. A disturbing new trend reveals that there is actually very weak evidence that opioid painkillers are safe or effective for the long-term treatment of non-malignant pain. Moreover, these drugs are highly addictive and can produce significant states of depression and anxiety.