Articles Tagged with Health

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Summary: Just because a doctor’s action or inaction fell below the standard of care does not mean that he or she was negligent.

I watched the first episode of “Monday Mornings,” a television series that was on TNT created by David E. Kelley.  Mr. Kelley has created or been involved in various series including: (1) Ally McBeal; (2) Boston Legal; (3) Boston Public; (4) Chicago Hope; (5) Doogie Howser, M.D.; (6) LA Law; and (7) Picket Fences. This show involved five surgeons in a hospital and explored their professional and personal lives.

The reason I am writing a post on this episode is based on a scene involving peer review of one doctor’s case.  The most common educational setting for this review and discussion is known as Morbidity and Mortality (“M&M”).  This is where physicians discuss other doctors’ behavior or analyze an adverse event.  The information gleaned during M&M is not discoverable in most states.  The reason is to have open communication and enable doctors to learn from their mistakes and try to prevent future ones.  Doctors are going to be less forthcoming with regard to errors they have made if what they say can be used in a medical malpractice case.

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Summary: I had a Colonoscopy back in 2012, and I thought that I would tell you about my experience.

I started going to my Primary Care Physician a short time after I returned from Colorado in 2004.  Among other things, she advised that I should get a colonoscopy by the time I turned 60.  About once a year, she would bring it up and I would dutifully nod.  Finally, last July, she asked about it again and I said, “You told me I just needed to do it by the time I turned 60.”  She then replied something like, “YOU’RE GOING TO WAIT UNTIL YOU’RE 60?”  Lovely woman but a bit of a temper.  Anyway, I assured her that I would get it done.  However, I kept putting it off, dragging my feet, taking my time, until I realized that the big SIX ZERO was looming.  By the time I called to make an appointment, I could not get one until eleven days past my birthday.  Close enough.

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Written by: Patricia I. James**

This post addresses a scene in the second episode of “Monday Mornings” (See Post #25). Again, it involved peer review known as “Morbidity and Mortality” and dealt with consenting a patient.

Neurosurgeon Tina Ridgeway, M.D. was invited to the podium to discuss the file of patient Francine Cash. Ms. Cash had a tumor on the brain and underwent an operation. Dr. Ridgeway said that the “procedure seemingly went well with no incident.” The Chief Surgeon, Dr. Hooten, pounced on the word “seemingly.” He asked Dr. Ridgeway about the risks of surgery. She said that the risks were bleeding, infection, stroke and possible damage to olfactory nerve (pertaining to the sense of smell) which ran proximate to the growth. If the nerve was nicked or cut, Ms. Cash could lose her sense of smell.