“Star” Doctor Noted For Setting Record For Medical Malpractice Settlements
How do you become a “star” doctor? Well, like most celebrities, it’s a bit of a confidence game. In some cases, the doctors are boosted simply by acclaim that they don’t really deserve. In these cases, the doctors end up riding that confidence and acclaim all the way to the bank. But on the other side of that, are piles of medical malpractice lawsuits that make some shocking allegations. The worst case of this was Dr. Christopher Dunsch who had a reputation for excellence despite performing surgeries under the influence. This is, in fact, a culture problem in the medical community. Doctors can have a sterling reputation among their peers but be completely incompetent in the surgical room. Now, another tale of a “star” doctor is making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
A New Hampshire hospital is under fire for marketing their star doctor even as they were settling medical malpractice lawsuits under seal. Yet the doctor has one of the worst surgical malpractice records in the history of medicine. He is still lauded as a star doctor by the hospital for which he worked.
The doctor was accused of medical malpractice in 14 cases that resulted in the deaths of his patients. Over the last two decades, there are no U.S. physicians who have reported so many deaths. Doctors tend to face one or two medical malpractice lawsuits in their entire careers.
The biggest problem for the public is that the hospital covered up records relating to adverse patient outcomes and continued to tout the doctor as the best in his field.
How do you become a star doctor?
Basically, you can perform surgeries that few others can perform. Notably, you take complex cases with high failure rates. So it should come as no surprise that a doctor who took on the most complex cases would lose some of his patients. However, what we have here is 14 cases in which the doctor’s insurance company said, “we can’t defend this case” and decided to settle with the family. All of these cases resulted in the death of a patient. Because of the hospital’s conduct, the public believed that the doctor was extraordinary and he gave many patients false hope, actually robbing them of what little time they had left.
How did the matter come to light?
Well, when someone feeds your ego for decades and tells you you’re the best, you end up with a bit of a chip on your shoulder. In this case, the chip didn’t match the competence and a whistle-blower lawsuit was filed by a colleague stating the surgeon’s medical practice was unnecessarily dangerous. Today, one of the biggest issues in the medical field is transparency and accountability. But the culture of the medical practice remains a significant barrier to achieving these goals.
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