45% Of Doctors Do Not Report Their Incompetent Collegues

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital surveyed 1500 doctors, asking whether or not they reported incompetent colleagues. 90% said that they should always report incompetent doctors or serious medical mistakes, but 45% said that hadn’t always done so.

Some more findings from the AP:

  • A third of surveyed doctors said they would order an unnecessary and expensive MRI scan just to get rid of a complaining patient.

  • A quarter said they would refer patients to an imaging center in which they had a financial interest without revealing the conflict of interest, which could violate certain laws.

  • Two-thirds of the doctors said they accepted patients who are unable to pay, and three-fourths said they had volunteered without pay at least once in the last three years. Overall, 28 percent of the responding doctors’ patients were uninsured or on Medicaid.

  • Fewer than 1 percent said they had lied to patients, and 3 percent reported withholding information from patients or family that those people should have known. Eleven percent reported breaching patient confidentiality.

We are reminded of the wisdom of George Carlin, “Somewhere out there is the worst doctor in the world. And someone has an appointment with him tomorrow.”

Docs Don’t Always Turn in Bad Colleagues [AP]