As patients, we put our life and trust into a doctor’s hand. We assume that they have taken an oath and are there to do what is right for us. We assume that when we are in a vulnerable state, a doctor will not take advantage of us. This past week, there have been at least two news worthy matters in which doctors have breached that trust. The first involves a Virginia man being mocked by an anesthesiologist while having a procedure performed. The man knew he was getting anesthesia for the procedure and wanted to make sure he remembered what the doctor said. He taped the conversation before the procedure began, but forgot to turn it off. To his dismay, after the procedure he heard the tape of the doctor mocking him during the procedure as he lay in a gown on the table. The doctor even went as far as to say the man had hemorrhoids, when he didn’t, and stated it would be placed on the patient’s chart. It is a shame when we can’t trust the doctor who is there to diagnose. In this case, the man filed a lawsuit against the doctor and was awarded $500k in court.
In another recent news story, a Michigan doctor who specialized in cancer treatment was found to either be over treating patients or treating them for no reason. The doctor has now been arrested and charged with numerous crimes. However, that doesn’t fix the fact that he convinced innocents that they were sick and needed treatment in order to fatten his own wallet. While one person received radiation for no reason, the doctor bought a bigger house.
The message you receive from these stories is that greed is everywhere. As individuals, we are programmed to have an instinct. We use that when we meet people for the first time and gauge our feelings about the interaction. Don’t ignore your instinct. If you are unsure of what someone has told you, get a second opinion from someone in a different location.