Doc’s Gone WIld – UK Edition! by Pat Conrad MD

Honestly, I almost want to call this dude my hero.  He’s not of course, but in this season of gift giving, I am tangentially grateful to the loony tunes, batshit crazy colleagues we have that deliver such hilarious stories.

Say an adult female with a history of liver transplant comes to you for recurring symptoms.  You open her up, and find…her previous surgeon’s initials etched on to her liver.

Last week British surgeon Simon Bramhall, 53, pled guilty to using an argon beam to brand “SB” on the organs of two separate patients during their transplant operations.

“On Wednesday, he admitted two counts of assault by beating at Birmingham Crown Court but pleaded not guilty to alternative charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.”

The Crown prosecutor noted that “It is factually, so far as we have been able to establish, without legal precedent in criminal law…[his] initialing on a patient’s liver was not an isolated incident but rather a repeated act on two occasions, requiring some skill and concentration. It was done in the presence of colleagues.”  Say, that’s a good point.  I’ve been in OR’s often enough to know that when a surgeon makes a joke, it is never just to himself and always with the expectation of getting a laugh.  Where were the nurses, techs, residents, and anesthesiologist?  And nobody saw a thing?  Of course, they all saw, all laughed, and not a damn one of them would cross the big dog that had been doing these for over a decade.

Is it okay even a little that a surgeon assaults, or at least, aesthetically molests a patient?  No, nope, not ever, and don’t misquote me, or I’ll sue (I might want to run for the Senate one day when the dementia really sets in).  But that much skill, brilliance, and hubris rattling around in a Planter’s Mixed can is just damn funny.

Let that happen here, and what would be the results?  Amidst the blizzard of lawsuits, there would be a media orgasm for at least a news cycle; concerned politicians and patient advocates unburdened with any actual medical expertise would hog the cameras.  The AMA would forcefully denounce any such behavior in a strongly worded urgent communiqué, and crank out a whole new list of ICD-12 codes to catalog any such injury.  And the AAFP, despite not actually having any surgeons, would require new MOC modules, just to get on the right side of the issue.

And before it was all over, wealthy Beverly Hills idiots would be demanding their designer surgeons sign their parts, probably in diamonds.

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Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  1 comment for “Doc’s Gone WIld – UK Edition! by Pat Conrad MD

  1. Sir Lance-a-lot
    December 16, 2017 at 8:06 am

    “Let that happen here, and what would be the results?”

    But, Pat, we already know: Just look up the tale of Allan Zarkin, [former] OB/Gyn, from almost ten years ago.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2000/01/22/nyregion/doctor-carved-his-initials-into-patient-lawsuit-says.html

    http://www.medicalbag.com/despicable-doctors/allan-zarkin/article/472310/

    “Zarkin was forced to accept a plea bargain with the consent of [the patient, and] … was found guilty of second-degree assault. The [patient’s] lawyer… said his client did not want to go to prison and opposed his criminal prosecution. Zarkin had been facing up to 25 years in prison if convicted of… first-degree assault. Zarkin, who was 62 years old at the time, did not go to jail. He was barred from applying for a medical license for 5 years. Zarkin settled the $5.5 million civil lawsuit against him for $1.75 million.”

    I guess he didn’t feel like re-applying for his license at the age of 67, after those Philistines gave him such a hard time. His NYS verification entry reads “License Surrendered.”

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