Friday, April 27, 2012


Here's an interesting tidbit: it has been found that how much a doctor gets sued for malpractice has *no* relation to how many mistakes he makes! And it has *everything* to do with his personal attitude towards his patients, how interested he seems, how much he takes care to inform the patient about what's going on, if he takes a couple extra minutes to get the extra understanding, and such.


Anna said...

Well, I guess it is about what kind of human relation he has built with the patient. I sounds logic that arrogant people get sued more than friendly ones. / But well, one does expect a correlation with the gravity of the problem. If that is missing, that's kind of strange indeed.

Anna said...

What is the source?

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

The book "Blink", about intuitive perception/decisions.

Joe said...

Guess it is difficult to sue someone who you consider your friend.
But when the doctor makes a stupid mistake I think it is needed to weed out the bad you as a patient have to live their mistake

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Speaking "from the inside", I'd say it's hard for a Doctor to be caring with his patients and then just up and make really stupid mistakes. Why? Because when you DO care, you avoid getting reckless. Either that, or you're Dr goddamn Gregory House and you don't have to give a shit! ;-)

When properly used and formulated, you'd be amazed at how well people accept to hear you honestly say "I don't know".
Especially (speaking for myself here) when most of the time I specify "it is not known so far", or "this is specialist's stuff".

One thing people (understandably) resent acutely, is a Doctor who acts like he knows everything, and then it becomes clearer and clearer that he's actually clueless and covering it up with hollow authority. One sure sign: you're not getting any better, and he acts like it's your fault for not confirming his diagnosis.

I remember one jewish healer, back in the day, who got highly and durably popular because he was always so modest. One Jesus Ben Joseph, or something. I'm not sure about the name, it was so long ago. ;-)

And then there's something else: it's nigh impossible for the profane to tell how "ace" a doctor is. But it's intuitively elementary to spot someone who just doesn't care enough to bother being competent with you.
Which is a very wise patient position. Because a sincere Doctor can always check out extra facts, or refer you to someone more specialized. But when one doesn't care, it doesn't matter in the first place if he COULD treat you by doing a proper job.

One example : countless patients are fed up from seeing 5 doctors and ending up with 5 categorical diagnoses. They have every right. Seldom can one be POSITIVE about a diagnosis. (Just ask House!) I never hesitate to tell patients the truth: that a definite diagnosis is either impossible in most cases, or highly impractical. Who cares whether it's a cold or a flu, when the certain exams would cost a mint and you're spontaneously cured over a week anyway? Certainty is tributary of need to know, because otherwise there will never be enough doctors for everyone!

I could go on like this for a while, but I'm sure I'd just bore you, and I've only got minutes of rationed power left. So, in conclusion, trust your instincts.
Except if you're consulting for schizophrenia, in which case your distrust is probably a bad impulse to act on! ;-)

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

What do you call us in private? The Great Unwashed?

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

You see? You see? There he goes again with the profanity.

May my case rest in peace.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Ach, you fekkin' elitist, like MD's Weekly is any better than Teen Star mag.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Teen Star Mag? Is that the U.S. paper version of Domai, with conveniently-placed censorship stars everywhere? ;-)