Many patients visit a doctor to get medical advice without knowing if he or she is actually a “physician.” H.R. 451 would have prevented patients from being misled, as it emphasized full medical license disclosure. When the bill didn’t pass, it left the door open to unscrupulous doctors passing themselves off as a competent professional, when really, we’re none-the-wiser.
Asking to see a doctor’s credentials isn’t enough, even if there may be medical degrees hanging on their walls–nowadays, anyone with a printer can phony up a doctor’s degree, or be working under an expired or fraudulent medical license. It is one of the most shameful outcomes of American free enterprise that people without MD degrees can masquerade as physicians of medicine.
Medical errors kill more than a quarter million people every year in the United States
The top five causes of death in the United States, in order, are tobacco, alcohol, medical malpractice, traffic and firearms. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), doctors kill more people than auto accidents and guns.
JAMA finds that they are comparing oranges to apples and without any solid data. But then they do their own math and finds it could be true?
- There are 700,000 physicians in the United States.
- There are 120,000 accidental deaths in the United States caused by physicians every year, and the accidental death percentage per physician is 17.1%.
- There are 80 million gun owners in the United States.
- There are 1,500 accidental deaths from guns every year, regardless of age group, and the accidental death percentage per gun owner is 0.001875%.
This means, the letter points out, that doctors are 9,000 times more deadly than gun owners.
Most people may think that scam doctors are easy to spot. Often they’re not. Its promoters wear the cloak of science dress in a white doctor’s coat and they use scientific terms and quote (or misquote) scientific references.
Every member of the health care delivery team plays an important role, but to help protect patient safety, physicians and non-physicians should only practice — and advertise for — what their education and training has prepared them to provide.
When you put your life in someone’s hands, you should have the right to know how competent those hands are. When going to your doctor, just like any other professional who value transparency with the kind of training they have, ask your doctor his background and get some information on them, because the life you save, may be your own.