Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chinese docs and patients

I did a month long surgery rotation in China in April.  When I came back, I told people (friends, family, docs) that American surgeons have it lucky:  if the patient does not do well, the worst that could happen is we get sued.  In China, you get sued and you get beat up by the patient's family.
I don't think people believed me when I told them this, or maybe thought I was exaggerating.  I'd tell them that if a patient had a bad outcome, the docs in some places would wear a helmet to work the next day.  And I'd get this look like "Nick, you're full of it."
Quote from a recent NYT article.  "In 2006, patients or their relatives attacked more than 5,500 medical workers, reflecting wide discontent with China's public health care system."
See?  I wasn't exaggerating.  American doctors have it great.  Our patients generally respect us.  They only sue us 5% of the times when they could.  And, they don't beat us up when things don't go well.

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