Why we shouldn’t kill all the lawyers just yet 4

“Let’s kill all the lawyers.” It’s every doctor’s favorite Shakespeare quote.  And if you’re giving a talk to doctors there’s no better way to get the audience on your side than by starting with a  lawyer joke. But perhaps we shouldn’t be too hasty about killing all those lawyers. As recent commentary about the Mark Midei case makes clear, modern medicine doesn’t know how to police itself. And until medicine does learn to police itself and protect patients from incompetent or greedy or just plain self-deluded practitioners, we will still need the lawyers as a last More…

Guest post: Badness in Baltimore: can peer review catch rogue doctors? 4

(The following post was written by Robert Wachter, who is the Associate Chairman of the Department of Medicine at UCSF and the Chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine at the UCSF Medical Center. Among his many other accomplishments, he coined the term “hospitalist” in a 1996 New England Journal of Medicine article. This post originally appeared on his blog, Wachter’s World.) A couple of months ago, a Baltimore reporter called to get my take on a scandal at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Towson, an upscale suburb. A rainmaker cardiologist there, Dr. Mark Midei, had been accused of placing More…

Maryland hospital tells hundreds of heart patients their stents may have been unnecessary 3

St Joseph Medical Center in Towson, MD has informed hundreds of patients who received stents that they may have undergone an unnecessary procedure, according to a story by Robert Little in the Baltimore Sun. The action is the latest development in a federal investigation of health-care fraud into the hospital’s cardiology practice, according to the story. The patients had all received stents from the hospital’s star interventionalist, Mark G. Midei, who last summer lost his hospital privileges and stopped practicing.