A while back Nurse K asked a really good question:
How do doctors deal with colleagues that they know are incompetent? Keep your mouth shut? Frank discussion with the medical director? Anonymous letter?Doctor D has two ways of answering this question. One makes him look really awesome, and the other exposes him a part of the problem. Doctor D will start out all the heroic stuff and then tell you more in the next week:
Doctor D once worked at a place called Crayzee Clinic, because he really wanted to practice primary care in an underserved community. (What a saint! Let's give Doctor D a Nobel Prize or something!) Unfortunately the clinic came with a partner we shall call "Crayzee Colleague."
Now Crayzee Colleague was pleasant enough, but the medicine she practiced didn't even remotely resemble proper standards of care. Doctor D, being the totally nice dude that he was, thought maybe Crayzee Colleague was just behind the times and hadn't heard of the cool new stuff doctors have been doing for these last fifty years. D mentioned his concern in the gentlest possible way, but would you believe it, Crayzee went nuts! She called D a "young doctor who doesn't know shit."
So Doctor D printed out some info for Crayzee Colleague on how medical care is done in this century to prove that he isn't the only one who believes in things like vaccines, mammograms, and such. Unfortunately nothing changed about Crayzee Colleague's incompetent care.
Doctor D was worried because he shared patients with Crayzee Colleague and the stuff she did wasn't exactly safe. From time to time he sent her pleasant little notes reminding her about sensible medical care as he was cleaning up her disastrous work. After a few months of this our hero realized Crayzee Colleague had no interest in changing anything.
Since Crayzee Clinic was federally funded, Doctor D figured he should go up the ladder and speak to "The Man." The Man isn't a doctor, but he has a fancy title, sits behind a big desk, and supervises a whole lot of doctors. D figured his colleague would surely listen to The Man. So D informed The Man that he was very worried about Crayzee Colleague's care. The Man said "Doctor D you are right. Crayzee should step up her game."
And then nothing happened.
Crayzee Colleague kept providing downright dangerous care, ignoring D's still friendly but increasingly firm reminders to at least try to practice something resembling primary care.
Finally, Doctor D had enough of Crayzee Colleague doing dangerous shit to his patients. He blew the whistle as loud as he could. He warned every healthcare bureaucrat he could find, "Look, if Crayzee Colleague keeps doing this stuff that endangers patients I will resign from Crayzee Clinic and tell every patient I see on my way out that I'm leaving because the care here is a treat to public safety!" And still nothing happened.
So Doctor D did exactly as he had threatened he would.
At the end of our story The Man's bureaucracy remained intact, Crayzee Colleague was still at the clinic, and Doctor D had all his principles but no job in the middle of the Great Recession.
...but Doctor D is still proud he opened that can o' whoopass on medical incompetence as well as The Man and his Crayzee Clinic.
Please feel free to praise the fearless Doctor D in the comments section! Get his ego good and inflated because next week he has to make some confessions that will disappoint you.