Patient Audio Tapes Their Surgery & Doctor’s Words Cost Her Job — Should We Simulate Negative Coworker Behavior?

malpractice audio recording

Recently shared on KevinMD.com was a Washington Post audio recording taped by a patient undergoing a colonoscopy procedure. KevinMD reports that “What he heard instead was shocking: “In addition to their vicious commentary, the doctors discussed avoiding the man after the colonoscopy, instructing an assistant to lie to him, and then placed a false diagnosis on his chart.” The incident cost his anesthesiologist $500,000 in the ensuing malpractice and defamation trial. The recording has to be heard to be believed.”


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Professional communication between healthcare providers, students, and patients should be a practiced skill. In medical simulation we have the opportunity to provide learners scenarios where no skills based tasks are being focused on, but rather unprofessional communication practices from confederate characters within the environment. What should have been said to these doctors in the room? How is this behavior been able to be condoned for so long? What is the appropriate way to deal with such negative communication? These types of questions are great for post-scenario debriefing environments for students and professionals to address such issues heads on. Think of the good investing half of the awarded $500,000 would have done in simulation experiences to weed out such behavior!

In the past I have covered how A/V recordings have proven to increase performance of healthcare professionals (See: The Power of Video Recording: Taking Quality to the Next Level). The affordability of audiovisual equipment continues to increase and eventually such devices will be present at every level of healthcare. The recording age is coming and healthcare programs will need to train for the professional communication they have taught, but not always enforced too.

Check out KevinMD.com for more great articles related to Medicine.


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