Photo Credit Who says one person can’t make a difference? This past week, I personally set back health care reform. No, I wasn’t attending a ‘tea party’ or decrying Obamacare in a venomous letter to the editor. I single-handedly bent the health care cost curve in the wrong direction. I performed an unnecessary medical test on a hospitalized patient, which exposed her to risk and cost the system money. Why did I do this? Personal enrichment? Fear of litigation? Need for a juicy Whistleblower post? None of the above. The patient was hospitalized after a week of abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. A CAT scan of the abdomen, often ordered by reflex in the emergency department (ED), showed no abnormal findings. In the ED, her white blood count was modestly elevated, but had normalized by the following morning when I met her. My physical examination demonstrated no concerning findings. I suspected that she was suffering from gastroenteritis, medical jargon for‘stomach flu’. Ph
MD Whistleblower presents vignettes and commentaries on the medical profession. We peek 'behind the medical curtain' and deliver candor and controversy in every post.