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Gaps in medical, legal systems Other 'Dr. To practice death, panelistssay - Indiablogger.in

Panelists “Dr. Death” Sessions (left to right): Matt Grant of KXAN, Kay Van Way, an attorney for medical malpractice at Van Way Law PLLC; Laura Beale, a freelance journalist and award-winning host of the “Dr. Death” podcast; Lisa B. Robin of the Federation of State Medical Boards and Ware Wendell of Texas Watch (Photos courtesy of KXAN and Chris Nelson.)

Journalists should draw attention to the failures in the American medical and legal systems that have led Christopher Duntsch on journalist Laura Beal’s well-known “Dr. Death” podcast series, to wound dozens of patients, with members of an expert panel calling “Dr. Death’: Are Patients Safe From Bad Doctors?” Panel at Health Journalism 2022 in Austin.

Speakers at the April 30 session said that despite the publicity of Beale’s work and that of other journalists regarding the matter, there is still little protection for patients against doctors who have already proven incompetent. Physicians can switch hospitals or even states and continue to practice after harming patients, because of a reluctance among physicians and hospital administrators to report harm, he said.

Matt Grant of KXAN Austin presents highlights from his “Still Practicing” series, which looks at how doctors with problematic histories are able to transfer to new hospitals.

In a website containing videos from the series, Grant and his colleagues note that February 2022 marked the fifth anniversary of Duntsch’s sentencing for an injury to an elderly man, which resulted in a life sentence.

Grant and KXAN colleagues extracted thousands of physician disciplinary records from medical boards across the United States. The records were then checked one name at a time against the Texas Medical Board physician portal. The KXAN team said they found at least 49 doctors who had disciplinary action in other states — including having their medical licenses suspended, revoked or surrendered — who were still practicing in Texas or were able to. Some physicians were repeat offenders with action in multiple states. Previously, criminal charges against doctors included drunken driving, domestic violence, possession of controlled substances, and possession of a gun while intoxicated.

These findings highlight gaps in physician monitoring across the United States, Robert Henderson, a surgeon who called for officials to stop Duntash and reported it to the Texas Medical Board, told KXAN in an interview.

“It’s not just a state problem,” Henderson told KXAN. “It’s a national problem.”

Grant outlined the steps the KXAN team took to find potentially dangerous doctors allowed to practice in Texas.

  • Pulled physician data from state medical boards.
  • Every name popped up in the Texas Medical Board License Lookup Portal.
  • Confirmed similar names by checking date of birth, medical school and graduation year and practice type.
  • Seek active Texas physician license and check for out-of-state disciplinary actions.

He urged reporters to investigate their own state medical boards, in particular, to report what information is available to the public and what may be hidden. Check whether they are posting summaries about cases or more detailed reports, Grant said. He also recommended looking into who is served on state medical boards and looking at whether consumers are well represented or whether the board’s structure leans towards doctors.

“Not a whodunit – it’s a whodunit.”

During a health journalism panel session, attorney Kay Van Vee credited Beall’s genius storytelling for drawing attention to Duntsch’s case and generating greater interest in protecting the public against harmful doctors.

“Dr. Duntsch was not the first drug-addicted spinal surgeon I sued,” Van Ve said, emphasizing the scope of the problem.

A 2018 article in Texas Monthly described the challenges Beale faced in becoming a hit podcast. Unlike others like the popular “serial,” the “Dr. Death” podcast investigated a case that at first seemed like no mystery or mystery. The case was not unsolved or one in which the defendant claimed In Duntsch’s case, listeners could — and could — find out their fate with a Google search. Instead, Beale created a compelling mystery by focusing on the flaws in the health care system. Which allowed Duntash to continue working.

“It didn’t take that long to realize it wasn’t just a story about Christopher Duntsch, but a story about a health care system,” Beale said in a Texas Monthly article. “It’s not a whodunit – it’s a whodunit.”

Lisa Robin, chief advocacy officer at the Federation of State Medical Boards, talks about the need for “culture change” when it comes to highlighting doctors who already have injured patients or are otherwise considered at risk. . He recommended the FSMB’s DocInfo website as a place where consumers can not only learn about physician education and training, but also check whether they’ve had previous trouble with licensing boards.

The website for the FSMB’s consumer-oriented page says, “Before you schedule your next check-up, make sure your doctor checks out.”

“thin white line”

In many cases, however, the harm caused to patients due to what Ware Wendell of the nonprofit Texas Watch calls the “thin white line” may not always make it into the public record or result in a decision.

This is a reference to the “thin blue line” slogan used by police officers. It is seen by some in law enforcement as a way of describing people who protect the public from criminals. But many others see that phrase as shorthand for an attitude among some police officers that violates their oath to protect the public by failing to report abuses committed by their colleagues.

“Doctors don’t like to testify against other doctors,” Wendell said in a panel session. “It’s hard to get a doctor to serve as an expert” in a case against a coworker.

Wendell also encouraged journalists to look for trends that have made it more difficult for consumers to seek justice in the legal system when they are injured by a doctor. He said look at efforts by medical organizations to make it more difficult to prosecute doctors. Be skeptical of claims that medical malpractice costs doctors the profession.

He recommended two books on the subject:

Wendell said the public needs to be made aware of the risks they may pose in efforts to put limits on medical malpractice awards.

“We need you to keep digging,” Wendell said. “We need to keep telling your stories in compelling ways.”

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