By Armand Leone, Jr., MD, JD
The patient physician relationship is unique and is based on trust and open communication. However, physicians do not always share the insider’s view about the healthcare system that they know. There are things that doctors know from their experiences that they don’t tell patients. Here are 10 things that physicians know but don’t tell their patients:
1. Having elective surgery on a Friday or in the afternoon carries a higher mortality and complication rate than earlier in the week or day.
2. Being admitted to the hospital on a weekend with a serious condition carries a higher mortality and complication rate than being admitted during the week.
3. Doctors know the limits of modern medicine and most don’t choose heroic cancer treatments or end of life care.
4. What their surgical and procedure complication rates are and how those compare to the national rates for the same.
5. A misdiagnosis occurs in at least 1 out of every 20 patient encounters in doctors’ offices.
6. Surgery to remove partial meniscal tears does not result in better knee function than medical treatment and physical therapy alone.
7. Bad outcomes after spinal decompression back surgery are so common there is a specifically designated ICD-9-CM billing code for when they fail called “Post-Laminectomy Syndrome”.
8. The quality of care decreases and medical errors increase during July which is when graduated interns, residents, nurses and other new health care workers first report to work at many of the nation’s hospitals and to start practicing medicine.
9. Fatal medication errors alone spike by 10% every July as new medical residents start taking care of patients.
10. Learning a new surgical technique, even for an established surgeon, requires a learning curve and, yet, every surgeon has to perform a procedure for the first time … where do you fall on their learning curve.
– Armand Leone, Jr., MD, JD, MBA Partner and Co-Founder of Britcher, Leone & Roth. Armand is also a board certified diagnostic radiologist