On 20 Apr 2014
Doctor Became the Most Miserable Profession,
Doctors are in a brutal profession. I have no doubt few would recommend the profession to others. People outside of the profession really have no idea how nasty it is. The pay isn't great, doctors live in constant fear of being sued for a less-than-ideal outcome, and their entire practice is dictated by insurance contracts. But these are things I'm sure you've heard before.
What you might not have heard before is how horrible medical professionals are to each other. My personal favorite is Sham Peer Review. It's a most disgusting abuse of power. I know for a fact that there are doctors who were victims of sham peer review that committed suicide.
Hospitals have a designated team of medical providers who are charged with peer review. Whenever there is a less than ideal outcome, the peer review committee is responsible for reviewing the case. Or, if let's say you have an OB who is performing more c-sections than one might expect, the peer review committee would review his cases over a period of time to see if the procedures were warranted. The purpose is to improve performance and give hospitals a way to get rid of a doctor who, let's say, showed up drunk to perform surgery.
As a way to protect the reviewers, the hospital, and patient privacy, the federal government protects this process as privileged. So, if a peer review committee decides that you aren't a good doctor, they can revoke your hospital privileges and have your status reflected on the National Practitioner Databank so that future employers are aware that you lost your privileges somewhere.
Here's the best part of all. Because the whole process is federally protected, you might never even learn what the charges are! There is no due process in peer review. They don't have to tell you anything (many do, but they don't have to). Since you don't know why they got rid of you, it's virtually impossible to fight back. Since the file is federally protected, you will have a snowball's chance in Hell of getting a copy of it.
For all these reasons, peer review is a grossly abused process. I know a doctor who was operating a thriving practice in a very small town. The hospital decided to go into competition with the guy. Since the guy had all the business, they needed to get rid of the guy (he refused to be employed by the hospital). So, the hospital took away his privileges at the hospital claiming that they had "peer review" concerns about his proficiency (he had a spotless malpractice record, btw). The hospital gave the doctor the option of resigning his privileges or his privileges would be revoked and his status would be listed on the Databank. He immediately called a lawyer, of course. The lawyer told him that his best bet was to resign and start fresh somewhere else... He advised the doctor to avoid the Databank at all costs.
For the very few who've been able to, rectifying the situation takes many years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. Furthermore, you will be difficult to employ while the case is pending. Those who have the guts to fight it, typically lose because the information they need to prove their case is PRIVILEGED. Most can't afford to pursue it. I can see how death might start looking preferable.