No one really knows what their doctor has been doing before treating them.
Doctors may hide their past when it entails something they don’t
want people to know.
Before anyone has a medical procedure, they are generally given a consent
form to sign. The idea behind that form is that they know and understand
any risks or complications of the particular procedure. “This form
is intended to protect the patient from getting something done they think
is too risky. Sadly, the form doesn’t have a spot on it for the
doctor to admit to any medical malpractice problems in their past,”
Consider the hypothetical case of a doctor who performed a colonoscopy
and did such a botched job that the patient just about died. Because the
patient had the sense to complain, it was subsequently revealed that the
physician was actually on probation for drug and alcohol abuse. “The
patient should have been told this because the hospital knew about it,
and despite knowing that this doctor nodded off during treatments and
acted confused when dealing with patients, he was still allowed to perform
risky medical procedures. Being in drug rehab twice was also another strike
on the physician’s record,” commented Mellino.
Pretty scary stuff, but it happens. Doctors are human beings and therefore
tend to put a good face on bad things. Nonetheless, they are people we
look up to and trust with our medical care. If we don’t know what
standing a doctor has, how can it be said that we are giving informed consent?
“Finding out if a surgeon is in good standing may be as simple as
asking the questions about prior lawsuits, suspension, license revocations
or restrictions. Chances are a doctor won’t provide a direct answer
to a point blank question that calls their competency into question,”
Mellino indicated. Check with the local physician licensing board by making
a phone call, because not all the information is listed on a website.
In reality, most doctors have a sterling record, but the reality is that
many still practice medicine who are not fully disclosing any of their
past problems. There is no law that mandates a doctor has to tell patients
of any disciplinary action they face. Why there isn’t such a law
is a good question to ponder.