Monday, May 17, 2010

Familiar Song, New Verse: Talk!

Well. This explains a lot: Florida's doctor discipline system not tough enough, critics say / Most cases dropped, few serious penalties imposed.

It's no secret in Florida that the Department of Health and the Florida Board of Medicine, in particular, are lax in regulating, policing and disciplining Florida's medical profession. Even though I've known this for years, reading this article makes my stomach churn. It makes me angry.

This isn't about a hair salon allowing unlicensed cosmetologists to cut hair in their shop. It's not about whether yacht and ship brokers and salespersons have a license to do business.

This is about physicians appropriately and accurately treating patients, and the State of Florida taking appropriate action when they don't. Treating patients -- people. Our children, our spouses, our parents, our siblings, ourselves.

Physicians are not infallible. But worse, some physicians aren't honest about their credentials or limitations.

We are so quick to openly and publicly pan a restaurant over lousy customer service. We tell our friends all about the hairstylist who left us looking like we went to a pet groomer. We will tweet all day long about how bad the in-air service is on a flight we're on.

But when it comes to telling someone about a bad -- or worse, harmful or life-threatening -- experience with a physician, dentist, nurse, anesthetist, or other health-care professional, so many of us tiptoe around the subject.

Even if Florida dismisses your complaint, you still have every right to talk to people about your experience. Especially if it jeopardized your life or the life of your child, or other loved one.

Bad restaurant service is temporary. Hair grows back. As long as you get safely from point A to point B, who cares if the flight attendant was rude or nice, or if the in-flight food was fabulous or foul? 

Physicians, dentists, nurses, anesthetists and other health-care professionals have the potential to improve your life or end it. If your health-care experience was a threat to your well-being or life, tell someone. Tell everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Who disciplines the DOH? That can't be the end of it. Who's in charge of the DOH? Sounds like the system is rotten and not just one physician is responsible for the lives and deaths of children.