Doctors make mistakes. That's not really a surprise. I mean, we're human. And we don't know everything, so sometimes we do the wrong thing.
But what really baffles me is how often doctors, maybe GOOD doctors, wittingly do something very questionable.
For example, I remember in residency, we once got a transfer to our rehab unit from another hospital. The patient arrived with a high fever, looking like he was about to go into septic shock. When we checked, we discovered that the physician who sent the patient to us knew about the fever and that the patient was unstable. But he still decided to transfer the patient to rehab.
I could give several more examples, some of them truly horrifying, but I don't want to violate HIPAA in any way. A lot of them involve extremely sick patients being transferred to rehab on a Friday night or right before a holiday, to a unit where there was no telemetry or even an in-house physician. I'm sure if you're in medicine, you can come up with your own examples of doctors who have knowingly acted against their patients' best interests.
I don't get it. Really. I always beat myself up for things I did wrong on call during residency, usually poor decisions made at 3AM. But these doctors were wide awake and aware that their decisions were putting their patients' lives in danger. Is it all about bottom line? Avoiding work? I have no idea.
I mean, even if you don't care about your patient, don't you care about not getting sued and maintaining your license?