When we were choosing an obstetrician, it was hard to get recommendations about who was effective rather than who was nice: I blame all of you who care more about bedside manner rather than results. You are the problem.
Today's evidence: doctors are more likely to be thrown out of the business for having sex with patients than for killing patients.
There are a lot of small towns in New Zealand and Australia where a single young doctor would have a hard time not dating a patient.Doctors are more likely to be struck off for having sex with patients than for misdiagnosing, breaching patient confidentiality, or performing the wrong operations, a new study shows.The research on doctor misconduct in Australia and New Zealand found medical tribunals removed or deregistered doctors for character flaws and lack of insight more often than for errors in care or poor clinical knowledge.Researchers from Melbourne University expected to find zero tolerance for sexual relationships with patients, but found it was unclear why having sex with a patient was much more strongly linked with removal than other forms of sexual misconduct.
If healthcare were about health, it's hard to imagine this being the equilibrium.Researchers analysed 485 professional misconduct cases over 10 years from New Zealand, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia in which doctors were found guilty.Of the 79 cases in which doctors were guilty of a sexual relationship with a patient, 64 were removed from practice, according to the study published this week in the British Medical Journal.Although it was far more common for doctors to be found guilty of inappropriate or inadequate treatment, writing inappropriate medical certificates and records, and illegal and unethical prescribing, they were much less likely to be removed for such offences.One reason could be that "dysfunctional behaviours and clear signs of bad character may be perceived as relatively untreatable", while a lack of knowledge or problems in the work environment might seem easier to correct.