Want a safer O.R? Shut the !@#& up!

Every so often, a wee media firestorm erupts over surprising issues. Consider surgeons, for example, who sing in the operating room. The latest eruption happened locally with the dismissal of an official complaint from a Canadian patient offended by his eye surgeon’s vocals in the O.R.

According to a report of the hearing published in The Vancouver Sun, the unnamed patient filed a complaint to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia after the eye surgery in May, 2011. The patient (awake for his entire procedure) could hear everything. He not only objected to his surgeon’s singing during the operation, but also the fact that he was casually chatting with others in the O.R. about, for example, his plans to take home the hospital’s linens “so he could wash his car with them.”   Continue reading

Why isn’t California disciplining its dangerous doctors?

Until he was banned in California from operating in 1967, Dr. Walter Freeman performed over 3,500 "ice pick lobotomies" through his patients' eye sockets.

You’d like to think that the doctor trusted to make treatment decisions for you or your family members would be in big trouble if he/she were found guilty of practice violations like “delivering substandard care, wrongly diagnosing surgical patients, improperly leaving surgical equipment in a patient, alcohol/substance abuse, or physical illness/impairment”.  But such is not the case, according to the non-profit watchdogs over at Public Citizen, who claim that the state of California has become delinquent in disciplining 710 physicians with documented records like this.

In fact, 102 of these California doctors have been designated by peer reviewers as an “immediate threat to health or safety” of patients – yet are still allowed to practice medicine in the state.  One question: are their patients aware of this?

Here’s the report:  Continue reading