The not-yet-released book Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care by Marty Makary, a professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins, may or may not make good arguments — I haven’t read it — but it certainly begins with a good story:
Harvard surgeon Dr. Luctan Leape at a national surgeon’s conference . . . opened the gathering’s keynote speech by looking out over the audience of thousands and asking the doctors to “raise your hand if you know of a physician that you work with who should not be practicing because he or she is dangerous.”
Every hand went up.
The author, Marty Makary, asked the same question at his talks and got the same response. Both of them — Leape and Makary — should have started asking “What fraction of the surgeons you work with are unfit to practice?”
I wonder how the rest of us can identify those unfit-to-practice surgeons. My experience has taught me not to trust a surgeon who says I need surgery.