“America’s Dumbest Doctors” – Laugh, Cry, Get Smarter about Healthcare

 

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Who do Paramedics turn their patients over to? Well, far too often, it’s these characters.

 

In this non-fiction study of physician misconduct, we learn for the first time what happens when a paramedic focuses his penlight on the idiocy around him and unleashes 30 years of note-taking. In America’s Dumbest Doctors, author Patrick McDonald has produced a book that literally no one else has dared to publish, detailing exactly who the ‘bad guys’ are: licensed professionals inappropriately held in such high esteem by the public.

McDonald, a traditionally trained EMS program graduate of UCSD School of Medicine in La Jolla, not only reveals first-hand instances of doctors behaving badly, but includes revelations from nurses, the media, and physicians, who themselves are so often embarrassed by their peers.

Consider the Arizona MD who – while facing 67 counts of sexually abusing his patients – announced in court, “Okay, so I’m not exactly Dr. Marcus Welby.”

Or take the East Coast doctor who stole a cadaver’s hand in order to impress a topless dancer. Or the Tennessee MD who wrote to Bank of America, “This person is dead. She is green and has maggots crawling on her. Stop asking about her status.”

A retired chief of medicine from San Diego said this: “McDonald breaks rank and names names. I wish I could report that these are merely a few far-out nutcases. I honestly cannot say that. And this fact alone makes his work, regrettably, important.”

The comedy of America’s Dumbest Doctors will entertain you. The sheer volume of idiocy will educate you. And the book itself will probably save lives.

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     “Do not let the title fool you. The value of this book lies not only in its hilarious incidents (which are abundant), but in the truly bizarre antics by way too many healthcare practitioners (the sheer numbers are astonishing). The author invited medical professionals nationwide to speak their minds on quirky physician behavior, and yikes, did they ever. The result is an eye-opening view of doctors, which is just shocking.

“Each chapter takes a different viewpoint and in between are hundreds of actual news headlines, which advances the book’s scary premise: No other profession spawns more ludicrous conduct. There’s the highly-educated MD who tried to seduce a topless dancer with the severed hand of a cadaver; the famous diet doctor who spanked his nurse’s bare bottom with a riding crop when she ate something fattening; and on and on. It’s really a rollercoaster ride, so fasten your seatbelts! I had the pleasure of interviewing the author on my radio show.”

Jacqueline Marcell

– Jacqueline Marcell, Author ‘Elder Rage, or Take My Father… Please! How to Survive Caring for Aging Parents’, International Speaker on Eldercare & Alzheimer’s

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“Paramedic Heretic” Author Interview

Reading and Writing Addiction

BOOK ADDICT

Interview with K. Patrick McDonald, Author of “The Paramedic Heretic: Immutable Laws and Ethical Illusions”

Reading and Writing Addiction was able to catch up with medical author Patrick McDonald this week. We are excited to share this insightful interview today with our readers:

RAWA: Patrick, when did you first discover that you were a writer?

KPM: When I was a youngster growing up in Indiana, I was sent to a small, very strict private school called St. Michael’s Academy. I was so shy that I found it very hard to even look the Jesuit priests and the Dominican nuns in the face and communicate with them. I was a terrified young fellow who figured out that it was far easier to write down my thoughts, than to utter them out loud. The nuns used to pat me on the shoulder and smile, telling me my notes to them were a joy. That’s when I learned the value of the written word.

RAWA: What is your favorite part of writing?

KPM:  For me, the most enjoyable aspect is going back over a section or chapter and tweaking the sentences; honing the concepts; tossing out superfluous language; substituting good words with great words. I suspect I may well be an editor at heart.

RAWA: What do you think is the most challenging aspect of writing?

KPM:  Because I write mostly non-fiction, the challenges I face are often in the research. I envy the fiction writers who can let their imaginations run wild – stretch deep into the world of make-believe. Because my work is highly critical of the medical profession, I simply cannot afford to stretch very far, or exaggerate. I examine real events and use real names. I do not particularly enjoy putting in the hundreds of hours necessary to be as accurate as a non-fiction critique of healthcare needs to be. But in order to make the book fun to read, I do write non-fiction with the feel of fiction story line.

RAWA: Tell us about your latest release.

KPM:  The short version is that my classmates and I were faced with numerous ugly realities within the world of EMS before we even got out of medical school. One of our most popular lecturers, for example, was a physician convicted of murdering his wife and three children. From that day forward, I started taking notes, just to make sense of what I was experiencing. These were private notes, and it certainly never occurred to me that the appalling misbehavior of professionals around me would continue. But it did and it does, day after day. So one day I pulled out several thousand pages of dusty notes and started the process of assembling them into a cogent string of rescue experiences and how they often went wrong. The result is “The Paramedic Heretic.”

RAWA: How did you come up with the title of your book?

KPM:  Like many authors, I suppose, I bounced title ideas around for quite a while. In the end, I realized that two undeniable facts kept bumping into each other: my profound Catholic upbringing during a time when the word “heretic” was commonly used. And later, as a young adult, benefitting from a highly traditional medical education at UCSD School of Medicine in San Diego. It dawned on me one day that anybody who actually writes a scathing critique of his own profession might rightly be called a “heretic.” I find it disturbing and regrettable that I no longer have faith in much of what bills itself “the finest healthcare in the world.” The fact is, U.S. healthcare generally ranks between 25th and 37th.

RAWA: Who are some of your favorite authors?

KPM:  In fiction, I’ve always admired Anne Rice for marvelous fictive worlds, and Michael Crichton for medical suspense. For reality I love Joseph Wambaugh. My favorite non-fiction book is Marcia Clark’s memoir of the O.J. Simpson case, “Without a Doubt.”

RAWA: What do you think has influenced your writing style the most?

KPM:  Well, as so many of us who love words woven into stories, I’ve read a thousand books. But I think what I’ve tried to emulate are authors who teach you as they entertain you; express thoughts cleanly, while not going off the deep end with the flowery adjectives. Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard do this very well in their “Killing” series.

RAWA: As a writer, what is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

KPM:  In “Heretic” Doctor Max Harry Weil – considered the ‘father’ of critical care medicine – was impressed enough with the book that he agreed to write the Foreword. I am honored. More than two dozen other physicians were good enough to support what are – at times – extremely critical views of physician misbehavior. I am extremely proud that so many doctors actually support my blistering exposure of their incompetent peers.

RAWA: How did you get published?

KPM:  In 2009 my book “America’s Dumbest Doctors” was put out by Dog Ear Publishing. When they learned I was working on a second one in a similar vein, they contacted me and offered to publish “Heretic.” I spoke with two other publishers, but what truly separates Dog Ear from so many others is their terrific author reps. They work with you every step of the way, and they are available by phone just about every time you call. They simply do exactly what they promise, and the quality of their books is outstanding.

RAWA: Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?

KPM:  Yes. Create the finest end-product you possibly can. In order to do this, you need to read, read, read, and then write, write and write some more. There are some terrific online guides to writing Query letters to agents, and you will need to master this, too. Submit at least a dozen Query letters to appropriate agents. Then submit a dozen more. And while you are awaiting their responses, download a copy of Mark Levine’s, “The Fine Print of Self Publishing.” If and when you have no positive responses from literary agents – and that is a very real possibility – go for the most appropriate choice in Mark Levine’s book you can find. In fact, you may just discover – as I have – that the literary agent path is not the path for you.

Paramedic Heretic: Immutable Laws and Ethical Illusions by K. Patrick McDonald is available at Amazon.com.

‘Patient Privacy?’ Don’t Count on it – Paramedic Heretic Examines the New ‘Normal’

 

Welcome to the world of electronic medical data
Welcome to the world of electronic medical data banks

 

The ugliness of healthcare hacking cases impacts the medical and financial status of nearly 100,000,000 citizens. And the numbers are growing.

You would need a Ouija Board to even guess the impact of the shocking number of patient data breaches in the current world of healthcare. Just this week, health insurance provider Premera Blue Cross disclosed that hackers have broken into its system and breached the privacy of 11,000,000 citizens. A Premera spokeswoman reports that their computer systems were hacked  as far back as last Spring. She states they were totally unaware of the data theft for seven months. She did not explain why on earth they waited three more months to tell their patients. Here is a list of what we now know was accessed by the bad guys. We sincerely hope your information is not on this list:

  • Social Security numbers
  • Bank Accounts
  • Insurance Claims information
  • Medical Charting details
  • Dates of Birth
  • Telephone numbers
  • Member IDs

“Paramedic Heretic” Announced on “Broadway World” News

 

 

"Heretic" meets Broadway
“Heretic” meets Broadway
  1. Patrick McDonald Pens the PARAMEDIC HERETIC”

March 18

6:33 2015

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👤by Books News Desk

  1. Patrick McDonald is proud to announce the release of his book, “Paramedic Heretic: Immutable Laws and Ethical Illusions.” “Paramedic Heretic” explains the authors’ account of what happens when a 30-year veteran rescuer turns his stethoscope onto the medical profession.

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  1. The book trailer for “Paramedic Heretic” was revealed today on DGT Book Promotion news. In addition, McDonald shared his insights in an interview this week on the Reading and Writing Addiction blog about the inspiration for “Paramedic Heretic.” K. Patrick McDonald’s interview can be followed at www.readinwritin.blogspot.com and the official trailer for “Paramedic Heretic” can be viewed on YouTube.

About the Book:

I was not even out of medical school before I witnessed my first doctor commit murder. It would not be my last – Lord, no – but I can recall that night as vividly as though it happened last week. Few medics forget their first physician homicide.

Praise for “Paramedic Heretic”:

“With health care front and center in today’s headlines, Mr. McDonald’s voice is an important one, now more than ever. He reveals a number of disturbing realities. We might want to pay close attention to what this gentleman has to say.” – Dr. Max Harry Weil, Founder, Weil Institute of Critical Care Medicine

About The Author :

K. Patrick McDonald is a graduate of UCSD La Jolla School of Medicine’s original Advanced Field Medicine program. He was appointed the first EMS Supervisor for the City of San Diego under Mayor (and then Governor) Pete Wilson’s administration. He created one of the nation’s first STAR (Special Trauma & Rescue) Teams and co-authored the San Diego City Disaster Preparedness Plan. He was a co-author of the National Waterpark Lifeguard Training Manual. He has acted as consultant to the U.S. Secret Service in Presidential Protection matters. He writes, “After 30 years of occasionally saving lives, I learned that by writing and speaking, I can do more good for more citizens, while tolerating far fewer medical-political snollygosters.”

“Paramedic Heretic” (296 pages, ISBN: 978-1457531804) is available online at AdLibris; Amazon Books; Barnes & Noble; SAXO; WisePress. To learn more about  Patrick McDonald and “Paramedic Heretic” visit: www.ParamedicHeretic.com or follow McDonald on Facebook and Twitter.

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Doctor Robert Neulander Murder Case

Dr Robert Neulander
Dr Robert Neulander

In the frigid upstate New York City of Syracuse a made-for-TV, high-profile murder case is just getting underway. You might want to take a peek.

Doctor Robert Neulander, a well-known obstetrician, faces a trial starting to today in Onondaga County Court. If he is found guilty he could get a life sentence.

The case is receiving national TV news attention. In fact, the courthouse is expected to be so packed with spectators, attorneys, family members and news reporters that a second courtroom will broadcast live coverage of the trial. CBS News’ 48 Hours will cover the case live.

Leslie Neulander in happier times
Leslie Neulander in happier times

All of this, in a case that would not have even started had the prosecution not received an anonymous letter. Until then, the death of Leslie Neulander was considered an accidental fall in the shower. Why? Because that is exactly what her husband, Dr. Robert Neulander, age 63, told investigators at the time.

On September 17, 2012, Doctor Neulander, with an ob/gyn clinic in DeWitt, told police that he had found his 61-year-old wife on the floor of the shower and moved her into the bedroom in order to do CPR.

But an anonymous letter convinced the district attorney to have investigators give the woman’s death scene a closer look. And after examining photos of the scene, they were all convinced that the story the doctor told police did not make sense.

The first officers on scene, who responded to a 911 call from the Neulanders’ adult daughter, testified later that they weren’t convinced it was an accident, either.

One officer actually started collecting evidence, because, “It wasn’t adding up to what we’d been told,” Sergeant Thomas Norton testified. Another officer noted the blood spatter didn’t make sense. “Something didn’t set right,” said sergeant Michael Kurgan.

In spite of what law enforcement found, the county medical examiner accepted the doctor’s explanation and ruled the death “accidental.” The police investigation was halted within hours and the case was closed.

The medical examiner will now get to explain to the world why he elected to take the doctor-husband’s word for what happened.

District Attorney William Fitzpatrick explains that he doctor would never have been charged had he not received the anonymous letter months later. Fitzpatrick said the person, whoever wrote it, “had an air of legitimacy.”

“The case really wasn’t on my radar screen at that point as a criminal case,” Fitzpatrick said. “Then we got this letter.”

Fitzpatrick then met with Police Chief Gene Conway and saw photos from the scene for the first time. There was blood all over the bathroom: on the walls and floors of the bedroom and bathroom, even high on the wall by the bed.

Fitzpatrick then showed the photos and other evidence to experts he trusted, including retired Onondaga County Medical Examiner Dr. Mary Jumbelic. He reached out to nationally-renowned forensic expert Dr. Michael Baden, known for his high-profile cases. They both said the same thing: the slip and fall could not have happened. They are certain the evidence shows that Neulander killed his wife in a fit of anger and moved her body and changed the bed sheets to cover up the murder.

So, two years after his wife’s death, the doctor was arrested for Murder.

Here is more on this all-too-common case of a physician killing his wife:

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/12/a_look_at_what_happened_the_morning_dr_robert_neulanders_wife_was_found_dead.html

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Doctor Thomas Pfeiffer Explains His Case

Readers might have seen our article regarding Doctor Thomas A. Pfeiffer’s case in upstate New York recently. Doctor Pfeiffer responded to us and his letter is noted below in its entirety:

This is Dr Thomas Pfeiffer:SCALES JUSTICE

“There seems to be some misunderstanding regarding the outcome of my case. I would like to provide the readers with additional detail that may bring some clarity to the final disposition. Too many people have rushed to judgment in this case, basing their decisions on less than all of the facts. Once I describe these facts in detail, I will then kindly ask that you retract your article which is both inflammatory and damaging in nature.
“In regards to the event that took place in early December, it was a simple disagreement that escalated into a heated debate between myself and my significant other. I was then falsely accused of terrible acts of violence by the other party involved who was enraged and heavily intoxicated at the time. These false accusations of violence and strangulation were perpetrated against me in the heat of the moment with the intent to negatively affect my career and damage my reputation. There was no abortion attempt because she was never pregnant. What was disclosed during the investigation but not to the media were the two follow up pregnancy tests that were negative. The plan B pill was purchased at the other party’s request and voluntarily taken by her to ‘prevent pregnancy’ from unprotected sex the day prior. It was therefore used for its intended purpose which is to prevent pregnancy. There was no force, no violence and no abortive act took place. Again, these were false accusations. The woman involved became remorseful almost immediately after the fact and realized the serious ramifications of her actions. She later recanted all false allegations. This and other evidence that came to light during the investigation is what led the district attorneys office to the conclusion that what happened on that night in December was not criminal in nature. The charges were therefore reduced accordingly.
“In regards to the Evolve program, I volunteered for this class in an effort to show the district attorneys office that while I maintain my innocence in all charges, I have taken this legal process seriously. I am not a violent person and I never have been. In fact, I am a kind, caring individual and a compassionate physician. I am also a Christian, and therefore, abortion goes directly against my beliefs. I do not condone nor do I endorse abortion or abortive acts in any way.
“In regards to my relationship with the woman involved in this case, we reconciled immediately after this happened and have been doing very well together. After this unfortunate night in early December, she even hired legal counsel to help defend me. She stood by my side at every court appointment and made every effort to remove these false charges. The night in question was very much out of character for both of us. The final disposition was a victory for both of us. The “victim” was just as relieved as I was at the verdict. In her words, “it was answered prayer.”
“It is unfortunate that in our legal system, especially when the media reports on stories with very few facts, has a sensationalism agenda, and prefers to smear a persons reputation instead of protecting it, that it seems you are guilty until proven innocent. Even when the courts decide that you are innocent and reduce the charges accordingly, the media strives to put a person in the most negative light possible.
“I am requesting that you remove the inflammatory and accusatory article that you published a few days ago regarding this case. It is damaging in nature and the contents are unfounded and not factual.

Best Regards,
Doctor Thomas Pfeiffer

Our Observations:

After Doctor Pfeiffer contacted us we decided to call a law enforcement friend here in California. We asked him to reach out to his colleagues in Ulster County New York, where this case was brought to court. The end result is that those who investigated this domestic dispute have read the letter written above, and believe that “what happened in this case was very likely as the doctor described.”

Based on this, we have decided to delete the original article of March 12, and we will make no further mention of the incident.

Incidentally, here is an excellent medical reference site for all physicians – not just Doctor Pfeiffer – their services and professional and legal backgrounds. You will notice that in Doctor Pfeiffer’s case, there are no Sanctions; no Malpractice Claims; and no state medical board Actions:

http://www.healthgrades.com/physician/dr-thomas-pfeiffer-ggxdd#tab=background-check&scrollTo=BackgroundBackgroundCheck_anchor

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