Are we headed toward “shot clock” medicine?

Jeff Segal, MD, JD, FACS

One of the most common complaints patients have is about waiting times.

Doctor Smith was fantastic, he saved my life, but I had to wait 45 minutes for my appointment.

The WSJ reported that some health systems with multiple ER’s are implementing unique actions to address this common complaint – posting waiting times so that patients can choose the facility with the shortest queue. In fact, Akron General Health System in Ohio began streaming waiting times for 2 of its ER departments on highway billboards. The idea is that patients with minor needs can choose the facility with the shortest wait times; reducing “left-without-being-seen” rates and improving patient satisfaction.

But does this innovation come with a down side? (more…)

It’s Me, Not You: Further Adventures with Social Media

Michael J. Sacopulos, Esq.

A survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers published through Loyola Medical School found that “Facebook holds the distinction of being the unrivaled leader for online divorce evidence with 66% citing it as the primary source.” Also, more than 80 percent of divorce lawyers reported they “have seen an increase in the number of cases using social networking evidence” during the past few years. This is mounting evidence which proves the power social media has on litigation. (more…)

How We Do It

Medical Justice is sensitive to the fact there are legitimate claims by patients who have been harmed by negligent care. But the fact remains that the majority of medical malpractice cases are ultimately deemed without merit. We harness the principles of medicine, law, and business to defeat dishonest plaintiffs, unethical medical malpractice attorneys, and unscrupulous expert witnesses.

Medical Justice Members are licensed to use Medical Justice’s intellectual property; deterring meritless legal actions, creating a critical practice infrastructure to strengthen the future use of legal remedies should a frivolous suit be pursued. (more…)

Study Confirms Hungover Surgeons Make More Mistakes

Jeff Segal, MD, JD, FACS

The April edition of Archives of Surgery confirms the answer to a nagging scientific question. Can hungover surgeons perform adroitly? I had guessed that a metaphorical ice-pick in the temple would have an impact. Now we know the answer. It matters.

The study was performed in Ireland – focusing on minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. The test involved a surgical simulator the day after drinking (or for the control group – day after abstinence).

The experimental group was allowed to drink as much as they wanted. The only rule: each participant needed to show up to a group dinner with at least one investigator to “determine intoxication levels.” I suspect this was a subjective interpretation. (more…)

Complimentary Membership Program for Residents and Fellows

A Message to Residents from Jeff Segal, MD, JD, FACS

I was a resident not too long ago – although it was longer ago than I want to admit! I remember what it was like. I spent 6 years learning how to operate as a neurosurgeon.

One mentor explained – you spend your entire residency learning how to operate. You spend the rest of your career learning how NOT to operate. Wise words indeed.

Learning good medical and surgical judgment is a full time job. Learning the requisite technical skills is another full time job. As residents you are doing two full time jobs.

Naturally there are items that do not get addressed in residency. For example: How does the legal world intersect with the world of medicine? Is getting sued a common phenomenon? If so, how does one avoid being sued? Is the world changing in the way patients access information? How can I protect and preserve my reputation in cyberspace? Lots of questions.

I was sued one time and was not prepared. I am smarter now – but, my education was “on the job.” I started Medical Justice in 2002 to address many of these issues. Getting sued is an occupational hazard for those in the practice of medicine. Our mission is simple – to keep doctors from being sued for frivolous reasons. We also keep doctors from being defamed on the Internet.

Medical Justice is a member-based organization – of doctors for doctors. We also provide valuable information to and services for residents. We want you on board while you are still training. It’s never too early. The best news – it’s free. Let me repeat that. It’s free.

The Medical Justice Resident program allows you to enjoy all the benefits of Medical Justice Membership, for the term of your residency, at no charge.