transplant surgeon makes front page os wsj

  1. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122722880819446359.html
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   canoehead
    When we say that the donor or donor's family should not receive a profit from organ donation we forgot about the docs. A doctor should not get a profit based on how many people he places in the "needs a liver transplant" category, because (at least in this case) some of those people won't need one.

    Why was he able to provide livers for people that wer borderline on needing a liver when there were others higher on the transplant list?
  4. by   rph3664
    Especially disturbing is that a huge percentage of organ transplant recipients really do have a very low quality of life afterwards; how many of them were needlessly sick for many years thanks to a drastic, unnecessary operation?

    And how many livers were transplanted into people for whom a transplant was not appropriate that could have gone to someone for whom it was?
  5. by   rph3664
    There's another thread about this. Could they be merged?
  6. by   sirI
    Threads merged.
  7. by   oramar
    Many years ago I worked on a transplant floor. I enjoyed many things about it including the patients, my co-workers and the interesting medical science and the excellent inservice education I got. However, I became aware that the most important things in the program were the surgeons ego and the institutions need for prestigue and money. Even then it was apparent that the patients were not number one on the hit parade. Of course the nurses were lower than low on the list but we don't do this stuff for glory. I see nothing much has changed.
  8. by   lpnflorida
    Interesting article. It would appear that this doctor was out of control in many areas of his life not just in his professional judgement.
  9. by   ghillbert
    He sounds like a spoiled child. Considering they do background checks etc, you wonder why someone like this can be let go or disciplined at several hospitals and is still able to get another job.
  10. by   rph3664
    Quote from oramar
    Many years ago I worked on a transplant floor. I enjoyed many things about it including the patients, my co-workers and the interesting medical science and the excellent inservice education I got. However, I became aware that the most important things in the program were the surgeons ego and the institutions need for prestigue and money. Even then it was apparent that the patients were not number one on the hit parade. Of course the nurses were lower than low on the list but we don't do this stuff for glory. I see nothing much has changed.
    I live in a rural area, and a critical access hospital in the area got a surgeon a few years ago who had been the director of kidney, liver, and pancreas transplantation at a major center on the East Coast. We all figured that either he had burned out, or he had majorly P'd someone off.

    A colleague whose husband works at the critical access facility said he had burned out on the whole transplant thing, but he wished to continue doing surgery and in an underserved area to boot.

    That's the kind of person I would want for my transplant surgeon!

    When I was in school, the head of transplants at that university hospital would come into the supper club where I worked (never with the same woman twice, and yes he was married - and the women were always middle-aged like he was ) and would pretty much demand that the whole restaurant shut down to cater to him. When he got caught using drugs on the job and it got in the newspaper, someone blew up the article on a Xerox machine and plastered it all over the kitchen.

    Interestingly, he was replaced by a woman. She didn't last very long; I don't know where she went but she appeared to be very good.
  11. by   oramar
    Quote from rph3664
    I live in a rural area, and a critical access hospital in the area got a surgeon a few years ago who had been the director of kidney, liver, and pancreas transplantation at a major center on the East Coast. We all figured that either he had burned out, or he had majorly P'd someone off.

    .
    It is possible to burn out on transplant units and here is the reason I burned out. A transplanted organ is not a cure.(I am talking about heart, lung and liver here) It is a treatment, a treatment that replaces a set of problems that will kill you with another set of problems that can be managed. That is sometimes hard to convey to a person who thinks the new organ will make them all better. The patients are told that they have a chance at having all kinds of complications but that doesn't sink in sometimes either. It is the patients that don't do well that burn you out. You start to wonder, "is this really the right thing to be doing?" "are helping or harming these people?" It is true that some people prosper but a inpatient nurse does not see them that often, you see the patients that don't do well and the guilt can be quite a heavy burden.
  12. by   rph3664
    Quote from oramar
    It is possible to burn out on transplant units and here is the reason I burned out. A transplanted organ is not a cure.(I am talking about heart, lung and liver here) It is a treatment, a treatment that replaces a set of problems that will kill you with another set of problems that can be managed. That is sometimes hard to convey to a person who thinks the new organ will make them all better. The patients are told that they have a chance at having all kinds of complications but that doesn't sink in sometimes either. It is the patients that don't do well that burn you out. You start to wonder, "is this really the right thing to be doing?" "are helping or harming these people?" It is true that some people prosper but a inpatient nurse does not see them that often, you see the patients that don't do well and the guilt can be quite a heavy burden.
    That's very true. I've mentioned this here and elsewhere that the general public thinks that people get their transplant, go home, and live happily ever after and that so often isn't true. A huge percentage of them are sick for their rest of their lives, just in a different way.

    And this is coming from someone who had two unrelated family members undergo organ transplants within the past few weeks.

    IMHO, it wasn't so much what you said as the huge stakes involved with organ transplantation vs. removing appendices and gallbladders, which is lifesaving as well, just a lot more routine, plus he would now be operating on basically healthy people.
  13. by   oramar
    Quote from rph3664
    That's very true. I've mentioned this here and elsewhere that the general public thinks that people get their transplant, go home, and live happily ever after and that so often isn't true. A huge percentage of them are sick for their rest of their lives, just in a different way.

    And this is coming from someone who had two unrelated family members undergo organ transplants within the past few weeks.

    IMHO, it wasn't so much what you said as the huge stakes involved with organ transplantation vs. removing appendices and gallbladders, which is lifesaving as well, just a lot more routine, plus he would now be operating on basically healthy people.
    Sounds like your community was quite lucky to get him.

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