Reader Response: ‘Are Doctors the Most Ethical Professionals in American Society?’

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Guest Perspective:

What follows is a response by reader ‘Dmitry’ to a physician whose screen name on medical blogsites is ‘Big City Doc.’ Big City Doc says that doctors are the most ethical professional group in America.

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Dear Mr. McDonald:

If possible, please forward my message to Big City Doc, and others you feel it applies to.

Calling physicians “the most ethical group in America” evokes in me sarcastic laughter and the desire to punch someone in the face. There are just too many incidents of clearly unethical behavior.

I’ve personally seen gravy train litigation in my work of legal discovery. My favorite was a handwritten note by a doctor to a drug manufacturer with errors, incoherent and incomplete sentences to the effect of, “I need $10,000. I heard you can give it me if I just write you and ask for it. I’ll be more than happy to support your products.” How does one become a doctor without the ability to write a simple sentence?

In my work I see deceptive billing practices and exploitation of insurance loopholes. (I see) complaints about doctors go literally nowhere. Medical boards consist of other doctors, some of whom have complaints against them. It’s like trying to convict a bank robber with a jury of thieves.

More troubling is the prescribing of unnecessary drugs.

I know at least one man walking around with a heart device the doctor himself considered inferior, but used it anyway, so that his wife could get an interview with the medical device maker’s higher-ups. How ethical is that?

I have a friend who woke up with 20 inches of healthy intestine missing, on the whim of the doctor who was supposed to do a biopsy only.

Then there was that physician who tried to convince my wife to have our baby delivered early, citing the baby had ‘gestational diabetes’ (which she did not). Turns out, the doctor wanted to deliver the baby early because he had travel plans.

So, get off your high horse, doctor. You must be either blind to the conduct of your colleagues, or a liar (read the online report – 1 in 10 Doctors Admit Lying to Their Patients).

For every good doctor, there seems to be another bad one.

Until we have doctors who police their profession, I will question every recommendation/diagnosis that I hear.

And I do demand more transparency and accountability as long as bad doctors are out there.

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We thank reader Dmitry for his observations.

And here’s an eye-opening article on where the corruption of medical professionals often starts – medical school:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/03/health/03conflict.html?_r=0

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3 thoughts on “Reader Response: ‘Are Doctors the Most Ethical Professionals in American Society?’

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