Ok, I'm responding to a troll, I know. But here goes. The post has a core of truth, but like all Slashdot-postings the "It's so simple I could just figure it out and do better" high-school naivety predominates.
>Doctors and surgeons routinely **** up on the most basic things, like which side of the body they're operating on, often in some VERY serious, permanent operations, like amputations.
- I have done thousands of operations and never a wrong-side operation. It is something that is taken *extremely* seriously, and we have at least three checks that guard against this. With over a billion procedures done per year, yes, there will be many that make the news, not unlike planes taking off on the wrong runway, etc., etc.
>Doctors and nurses, time and time again, have been shown to not practice the most simple procedures for infection control, like washing their hands before/after every patient.
- True again to a small degree, but everybody at my hospital does this. It probably could make a bit of difference if done nationwide, but again, this is taken extremely seriously.
>A couple of doctors in the Boston area have a)left patients on the operating table (opened up!) to run an errand at the bank b)shown up drunk or high for operations c)been beyond unprofessional to staff 'below' them (screaming, throwing things etc.)
- a) I was a resident at the very same major hospital when this happened. I know the inside story, and it was nowhere near as simple as it sounds.
- b) ?? The MD would be promptly fired. I don't understand what kind of life you imagine we lead.
- c) Yes, I agree this is a problem. This is a very big problem that the medical "culture" has some deficiency with. Equally bad is an antagonistic attitude by people "below" the MD who try to passive-aggressively sabotage things or "protect the patient" by alienating the rest of the staff. We need to work as a team, and at my hospital I strive to make sure that is always done.
> When the *** up, the malpractice covers the lawsuit.
Again, you have some sort of "fantasy" about M.D.s that is not remotely grounded. I'm guessing you wanted to go to med school and never had the wherewithal to go through with it? Or maybe had some unfortunate experiences as a patient?
- Nobody, NOBODY wants to get sued. The idea that we just sit in a lounge and make patients wait, etc., is pure nonsense. I work my a$$ off every day, and my friends with similar education and ethic get paid twice what I do. I am far from "among the most highly paid in society."
If you want a realistic sense of what may go on during a suit, read this piece: