Ramblings of an Emergency Physician in Texas
Here’s the link.
My comments are in the comments of the post.
No related posts.
Maybe I should be making my comments over at the law blog instead of here, but based on my experiences in my local hospital this is an area where docs have themselves to blame. While you are right that the concept of peer review will generally mean that competitors are often the ones providing it, the reviewer has a responsibility to remain unbiased and ignore competitive implications.
There is a temptation for reviewers to use the reviews for personal gain (ie, to screw a competitor), and sometimes that’s exactly what happens. The same phenomenon is also seen in hospital committees, especially the ones dealing with credentialing and privileges. I hate to say it but sometimes getting a lawyer and fighting for your privileges is the right thing to do. The concept of unbiased pristine peer review is a joke, and probably always was.
Why is this a victory for the trial lawyers? Did the plaintiff’s lawyer take it on contingency?
Wow, that is bizarre. I never even thought of that aspect of “peer review”. And who knows what the answer would be.
I remember this case when it was publicized in 2004; the more recent news has been the alteration in the amount of the awards to the plaintiff (still stratospheric). What is not addressed is how this information became discoverable. According to state laws (except now in Florida), peer review activities are not discoverable — unless there was a breach of confidentiality. That means that someone on the peer review committee let others in on what had transpired to cause this physician to lose his privileges. It is certainly legal to discuss that a physician did in fact lose privileges once that action has been taken, but the facts of how that action was determined are confidential. As the saying goes, loose lips sink ships!
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