Stopping Dr. Hodad: One Physician Speaks Out in Wall Street Journal Article

Posted on October 2, 2012

He is now a surgeon at prestigious Johns Hopkins, but the physician recalled his first day as a student making the rounds at one of Harvard Medical School’s affiliated teaching hospitals. While being shown around, one of the members of his resident team kept referring to a well-known surgeon on staff as “Dr. Hodad.”

It turned out that wasn’t the surgeon’s real name. The resident whispered to him that it was actually a nickname that stood for “Hands of Death and Destruction.”

Despite his reputation for incompetence among hospital staff, Dr. Hodad had an amazing bedside manner and was worshipped by his patients, who chalked up their post-surgery medical complications to fate and not to the less-than-stellar skills of their surgeon.

The author of the Wall Street Journal article noted that every hospital he’s worked at seems to have a “Dr. Hodad” (or several) on staff, and that the culture of medicine has to change if a dent is going to be made in reducing the number deaths and injuries from medical errors each year.

Surgeons operate on the wrong body part as often as 40 times a week in the U.S. and roughly 25 percent of all hospitalized patients are harmed by a form of medical error. By some accounts, medical errors could be considered the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. — just behind accidents.

The author says that transparency is the key to making hospitals safer for patients. The more patients have access to fair and accurate hospital safety reports, the more they can take charge of their own care.

That way, hospitals will have to compete for business based on tangible safety records … and not on the charms of a Dr. Hodad.

Medical errors account for some 98,000 deaths per year in the United States. If you believe you’ve been harmed due to a medical error, the Tampa medical malpractice attorneys at Farah & Farah can explain your legal options and will provide the experienced legal representation you’ll need to get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (800) 533-3555.


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