Woody Allen is quoted to have said “Eighty percent of success is showing up”. In Medicine I suspect the other twenty percent of success is ten percent decent documentation and the other ten percent is not being a jerk.
From time to time I review medical cases consisting of complaints against doctors. These originate from patients or clinics remonstrating their (now former) physician failed to follow standard of care, usually written in some sort of formal fiddle-faddle. But the gist is always the same. The doctor has pissed them off and their feelings are hurt.
I may not be the most brilliant of physicians but I connected the dots early if I did the following things I would look brilliant:
Document what I am doing – and why
Actually listen to patients
and (most important)
Don’t be an asshole.
The case I just finished (and what a job that was!) made my eyes cross how awful was the physician. The clinic where he worked created a catalog of complaints against him. Reading between the lines I daresay most of their kvetches were spot-on valid. However, the clinic notes and EHR are so bad there is no way to support any of their allegations against the man. Dr. Demento is going to get off thanks to poor documentation.
I’m convinced if doctors acknowledged their blunders and were less patronizing this would eliminate most lawsuits and medical board investigations. I’ve had a few cases when I could have been easily cleaned out by a lawsuit but I had the balls to say I’m sorry and/or hear the patient vociferate without becoming defensive.
Along with a much-earned consultation fee I receive ‘free advice’ from each case I review on how NOT to be a bad doctor.
I may not have élan but I am not as a schmuck.