Healthcare and You
by Marvin Ackerman, MD
In days of yore,|
Twenty was a score,
Old Abe - no bore,
Counted four score more,
Well now that we've hit more than a hundred score,
I swear; I am sore in every pore.
Don't Bother to Ask if There's a Doctor in the House
How come there never seems to be a policeman around when a car passes you going 95 miles an hour, weaving in and out, and with a driver who is probably dead drunk? Worse, yet; how come there never seems to be a doctor in the house when someone needs a prescription, or just needs help? Well, if a police officer actually saw the intoxicated driver it wouldn't be long before a chase would ensue, but if a doctor is actually in the house you can bet that you will probably never know. How come?
Recently I received several newsletters from the State of New York Department of Health concerning a growing problem; physician misconduct. If a doctor writes a prescription for a family member and neither examines nor keeps a medical record for that person, he or she may find himself or herself caught up in New York's medical conduct system. This is one of the least obvious ways for a doctor to court trouble. Other more glaring mistakes involve scheduling an attractive patient for the last appointment of the day and then dismissing the staff, or allowing a patient to bring gifts while also scheduling appointments for no apparent reason.
Did you ever stop in at the neighbor physician's house to ask for help with a relative that came by and is now sick? Don't get angry with the doctor if your request is refused. This is poor medical practice; unless records are kept along with a complete history, physical, etc. You are stepping on the doctor's toes, and if a poor result of this off-the-cuff treatment follows, you may be letting your doctor friend in for serious consequences.
Altogether, in New York State, there are almost fifty ways for a doctor to get into trouble through behavior falling under the guidelines of professional misconduct. The range of possibilities includes everything from getting a medical license fraudulently to refusing to treat someone due to race, color, or creed.
Cartoons and Poems following each article are created and copyrighted by Dr. Ackerman and cannot be copied or reproduced without his permission. Copyright © 2005 by Marvin Ackerman, M.D.
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