January 02, 2007

It Starts With Boob Jobs and Strippers

Boob Dr. Michael Gleeson is miffed that his lawyer got $600K when he sued the cops and won $2 million.

While the doc/lawyer friction is interesting. The back story to how it got to this point is fantastic.   

In 1999,  Dr. Gleeson approached the owner of the Grandview Gentlemen's Club.

"How about I enhance your employees' breasts," he said. Or at least something to that effect.

"Brilliant," the proprietor probably replied. And they had a deal.

Gleeson got to work, enlarging the breasts by inserting an implant through a tunnel from the belly button to the pocket beneath the breasts.

But then, let's call her Cheyenne West, didn't like her new look. So she called the cops.

The police arrested Dr. Gleeson on 400, YES 400, separate charges linked to his services.

But the charges were eventually tossed and Dr. Gleeson sued the cops and some local governments for the mess. And he won.

Now, Dr. Gleeson says his lawyer shouldn't have gotten a 30% cut and he's asking a federal judge to slice it.

We love this story. Read [Pocono Record]

December 11, 2006

Dr. Sketchy McSketchson

Etch Dr. King is turning into a great source of lawsuit madness. We talked about him keeping his past hidden and filing false applications over the last week.

Now comes some more news that you just can' t make up. Drum roll, please.

"The former Putnam General Hospital doctor at the center of more than 100 medical malpractice lawsuits testified Friday that he has no fixed address, has not worked since early November and lost his tax records when his accountant's office burned down.

Christopher Wallace Martin, the osteopath previously known as John A. King, also told Putnam County Circuit Judge Ed Eagloski that he has set up more than a dozen corporations, trusts and other legal entities since 1999. He then assigned them such assets as his Volvo autos and the $400,000 house he bought while at Putnam General."

Paging Dr. Sketchy McSketchson. There's more! Read [Herald Leader]

December 06, 2006

Doc Sues Chicago Sun-Times

News_21 Doc wants $125 million from newspaper, tv station for calling him crap MD Read [Chicago Tribune]

Our work is done? West Virginia Democrat says med-mal crisis is history Read [Register-Herald]

Facing 'suits in W. Va, doc gets fined in 'Bama for filing phony med license application Read [Huntsville Times]

Continue reading "Doc Sues Chicago Sun-Times" »

September 25, 2006

'Cock' Doc Underfire

Mascu Alright, the more appropriate term is "penis doctor." But it still galls us that some cardiologist read a how-to book and began performing delicate surgeries outside his discipline. In this case, "visions of grandeur" became "distorted organs." We'll leave it to the Chicagoist who said it, ah, best:

This morning's Sun-Times ran a story about Dr. Sheldon Burman, the founder of the MSD Clinic, an abattoir of masculinity located in our old Northwest Side childhood stomping grounds. "MSD", by the way, stands for "Male Sexual Dysfunction", although with the rash of malpractice claims filed against Burman (45 and counting), it could just as well stand for "my scary-looking ding-a-ling". Guaranteeing an increase of one-half inch in length and a fifty percent increase in penile thickness, Burman and his crack (smoking?) team essentially helped men change their penis size from "pudding snack cup" to "rusty, dented tuna can". The sheer number of malpractice claims against Burman were enough for state medical officials to start the process of revoking Burman's medical license. Burman still stands by the thouands of procedures he's done since 1981.

We digressed today. We know. We take responsibility. But it's still a liability mess.

FYI: Doc Burman said he had no formal training but taught himself the  knife tricks. Read [UPI]


July 18, 2006

Flea Gets Deposed

Flea_1_5Our old friend Dr. Flea is facing some heat. He has written for us about another experience getting sued and "driving a yellow bus" in the Northeast. Now he gives us the lowdown on going to see his lawyer. Thanks, Flea.

Flea was deposed today.

Today's events will require more than one post, as there are many facets to the story worthy of mention. Here's the first story:

I arrived at my attorney's office one hour early. This was not my intent. I left extra time because of fear of being late. There had been an horrific accident in downtown Boston yesterday morning and we were promised that traffic would be horrendous all day.

I tried to kill time by walking around Government Center. I recalled a radio interview I once heard with Livingston Taylor, on the subject of stage-fright and performance-preparation. Taylor said he does two things before he performs on stage: First he arrives at the performance space early (okay, I had done that); Second, he thanks God for the privelege of being where he was, about to perform. I took Taylor's advice and gave thanks.

When the deposition was over and I was back in my car, I called my office and spoke to my staff. I had not arranged for coverage during my deposition. The thought had simply never occurred to me that I may be away from the office for so long that I might be needed in the morning. The culprit was most likely denial. I didn't want to think about the deposition at all, so I didn't arrange for back-up.

My nurse reported that there had been very few calls, and none that required my attention. I was enormously relieved. I thanked her and my secretary for being there to field calls in my absence. Then my nurse remarked "God was watching out for you today".

I choked up and became afraid I would start crying on the phone to my nurse. I had forgotten about my prayer this morning.

Now, I know Hashem has better things to do than listen to the prayers of a flea. But in case You really were listening, thanks.

July 11, 2006

Voice of Maryland Docs Chimes In

Md_flag Q&A: T. Michael Preston, the executive director of MedChi, the state's medical society. He's stepping down after a ten-year run.

Excerpt: If a doc has had five paid claims in five years, but three of them are below $150,000, I may want to know that when I'm choosing a surgeon. Shouldn't that be public?

What's the threshold of reliability? If he's a resident that's been dragged into a suit, and somebody got $10,000, is he going to have to spend the rest of his life tagged with a claim payment, and explaining to patients about that? We agree there needs to be a better indicator of quality, and that's the problem and the challenge now.

Read [Baltimore Sun]

Compare these thoughts with those expressed in an interview with the president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, here.

May 23, 2006

Medical School for Lawyers

HeartsAh, a romance born in the college lecture hall. Well, not exactly. But docs are giving malpractice lawyers one-day sessions on the physiology, diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions frequently encountered by trial attorneys. Deeper med knowledge=fewer frivolous lawsuits? Read [UPI]

Continue reading "Medical School for Lawyers" »

April 24, 2006

What Scares Docs? Being a Patient. Seriously.

TimecoverHating the hand that feeds you? Not exactly. As you know, we're not docs. So we found this week’s TIME mag package especially interesting. Docs fear the health care system as much as the rest of us. Dig in. Here's a not to earth-shattering blurb:

“While there are bad doctors practicing bad medicine who go undetected, that's not what scares other physicians the most. Instead, they have watched the system become deformed over the years by fear of litigation, by insurance costs, by rising competition, by billowing bureaucracy and even by improvements in technology that introduce new risks even as they reduce old ones. So doctors resist having tests done if they aren't absolutely sure they are needed.”

TIME also tells us how to be good patients: be nice. Stop the presses!

Take a read and tell us how if the current climate clouds the liability situation.
Did they ask patients what they want in a doc?

Let us know what strikes you in the articles. Read [TIME]

April 12, 2006

Docs Living Fat Off of Malpractice 'Suits

Expertwit3"This isn’t doctors against lawyers,” said Dan Kopen, M.D., an independent general surgeon in Kingston, PA. “It’s people who have a vested interest in the current system versus people who want something better for the population in general…. There are doctors who are becoming very wealthy as part of the current system because they provide expert testimony on a regular basis,”

Alright, we knew that, but this is what was news to us: “One of the biggest national brokers for expert medical testimony — Berkeley, Calif.-based American Medical Forensic Specialists Inc. — said it has a nationwide network of about 7,500 expert doctors and they bill hourly rates of $400 to $500, depending on the type of doctor needed.” Read [Scranton Times]

I want a slick corporate lawyer and a stethoscope-sportin’ med expert to arm wrestle on pay-per-view.

There is simply too much money involved in the medical liability world. Scrap the high-paid experts. Do away with the 40% cut-getting attorneys. Give us a better way. Someone. Somewhere. PLEASE!

November 29, 2005

Dr. Whistleblower steps into the ring

Whistleblow_1There’s been chatter in the medical world that a MD who questions a colleague’s practices or notes errors in the operating room has asked for a career death wish, so to speak. Dennis McIntosh, a former anesthesiologist at San Joaquin General Hospital, alleges that because he pointed out the faults of the hospital anesthesiology department while he was employed there in 2004, several doctors attacked his character and medical abilities and also prevented him from getting other medical jobs. The hospital’s evaluation from the time listed McIntosh as "not a competent anesthesiologist and… an inferior doctor." McIntosh says it’s a smear job and he's seeking $25K in damages. It's doctor vs. doctors, tonight at 11.  Read [Lodi News-Sentinel]

About TMMS

  • ThisMakesMeSick answers renowned medical inventor Dr. Robert Fischell's wish to spread awareness (and outrage!) about the medical liability crisis that's ruining our healthcare system.

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    • Fretted over rising malpractice premiums?

    • Signed a truly unbelievable medical liability waiver?

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You don't say...

  • "This election destroyed a popular Karl Rove myth. The truth is that trial attorneys are winning, attacks on trial attorneys are backfiring and opponents of the civil justice system are losing."

    The CEO of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America said.

  • "We have discovered that virtually all patients are willing to sign a contract in which they agree not to sue their doctors on frivolous grounds."

    Jeffrey Segal, M.D, a board-certified neurosurgeon and the founder and president of Medical Justice Services, Inc., said.

  • "Low-risk obstetrics has been done here for 60 years, but not anymore."

    Carl Hanson, chief operating officer of the county-run Minidoka Memorial Hospital in southern Idaho hospital's, explained as they get out of the baby business. Read

  • "I have children, and I don't know where they're at."

    Rosalinda Elison, a former patient at the UC Irvine Medical Center’s fertility clinic, said after learning that that her eggs and embryos had been stolen and implanted in another woman who then gave birth to twins.

    Read more You Don't Say, here.

Crisis by numbers:

  • $4.6 million

    New York state grants available to expand the use of electronic medical records. Such initiatives have been hailed nationally as a way to cut medication errors, save money and improve patient safety. LINK

  • $700,000

    Amount raised by Fairness and Accountability in Insurance Reform to oppose malpractice limits in Arizona. LINK

  • $450,000

    Amount the Arizona Medical Association says Arizonans for Access to Health Care has raised to decide whether to push for montetary limits on lawsuits. LINK

    Read more CRISIS BY NUMBERS, here.

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