Sunday, February 15, 2009

AAOS continues to protect "bad orthopedic surgeons"

Make no doubt about it -- the delivery of medical care is going to change continually (and under the proverbial radar) as the Obama administration.

The AARP does not seem inclined to protect (or even advocate for) the population of persons who will be the first to suffer under the rationing of care program.

And, based on its website, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, is unaffected by the proposed changes to our medical care (per the newest stimulus bill to be signed by Obama on Monday February 16, 2009 - president's day - geez, it is all about image).

One of the benefits of not being able to walk right now without extreme pain and loosing my balance is that I can do a lot of research, take medical classes on-line and blog about patient empowerment! May be this is all part of God’s plan.

God’s plan nothwithstanding, shout outs to the “fine” orthopedic surgeons that have treated me and abandoned me:

1. Chris J. Dangles, MD of Carole Clinic Association in Champaign, Illinois and
2. Alison Toth, MD of Duke University Sports Medicine)after the surgeries

I noticed that the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (a very strong lobbying organization) pre-prepared a letter for interested persons to send to their United States Senators:

I am writing to you as a parent to urge you to support S.243, Medical Care Access Protection Act of 2007, and S.244, Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies Access to Care Act of 2007. Without these bills, I am concerned that my family may not receive the medical care we need because the abuse of our medical liability system by a few is forcing many good doctors out of business.

The problem is not in our medical system. It's in our legal system, where a huge increase in lottery-style verdicts tempt lawyers to sue doctors even when the cases have absolutely no merit.

The terrible irony is that our most highly skilled doctors and those who take on the most challenging cases are the ones being targeted by personal injury lawyers. That's why ERs are being forced to close down and why women in some parts of the country have to travel many hours to find an obstetrician to deliver their babies.

The health of our children, indeed of all Americans, depends on Congress doing the right thing and passing medical liability reform legislation in the Senate this year.
That is an interesting statement of what the AAOS believes is the most crucial and pressing medical and health issues confronting our society. Babies? Tort Reform? What about socialized medicine or "bad doctors" not being discipined?

Let’s check out the AAOS’ mission statement
Mission Statement
AAOS will serve the profession, champion the interests of patients, and advance the highest quality musculoskeletal health.

This mission defines AAOS’s fundamental reason for being, and establishes the parameters for its major activities and the defensible criteria against which all goals are established.

Is the AAOS really focusing on patient safety and best interests? It does not seem that way. The pre-prepared letter mentions nothing about:

1. Use of “hospitalists” and how that practice effects the orthopedic surgeons whose patients are followed by “hospitalists.”

In my dad’s situation, the hospitalist refused to communicate with the orthopedic surgeon in September 2008 and then again in November 2008. The effect – my dad (a 75 year old Stage 4 cancer patient) is at real risk of losing his foot. Dad is in constant pain and battles anxiety and depression.

2. The Obama administration’s desire to socialize medicine in the United States.

Per the instructions in Tom Daschle’s book “Critical,” the first step to create a “Federal Medical Board” (i.e. UK’s NICE Program) was stuck in the stimulus bill in order to avoid any congressional discussions. That Federal Medical Board will dictate what procedures can be preformed on what patients. The federal government wants computerized medical records so that a goomer in the federal government can communicate with the doctor in the hospital and dictate treatment mandates.

Okay, the AAOS does not seem concerned that their member surgeons may not be provided the information (through hospitalists), communication or cooperation to provide proper medical surgical care. And the AAOS is evidently unconcerned that their member surgeons may very soon be practicing orthopedic surgery under a socialized, government controlled system.

What about the AAOS allowing (forget the idea of encouraging) its member surgeons to testify in court against orthopedic doctors who hurt orthopedic patients? Certainly, based on its own mission statement, the AAOS must monitor and discipline its own. Answer? A resounding “no.”

The AAOS continues to intimidate its member orthopedic surgeons from stopping “bad doctors.” Instead of examining the clinical decisions and conduct of a defendant orthopedic surgeon, the AAOS closely examines the orthopedic surgeon that seeks to assist the alleged patient injured by the defendant orthopedic surgeon.

How exactly does that secondary examination advance AAOS mission statement?

Fact: medical societies in the individual states do not routinely discipline the “bad doctors.” The state of Illinois does respect discipline imposed by other states and imposes reciprocal discipline. But, IMHO in order for a physician or surgeon to be disciplined in Illinois, that doctor would need a felony, illegal firearm or drug conviction.

Case in point:

At its meeting on Dec. 6 , 2008, the AAOS Board of Directors considered a grievance filed under the AAOS Professional Compliance Program. After consideration of the information presented and the recommendations of the Committee on Professionalism (COP), the Board suspended James A. Ghadially , M.D, for violations of the Standards of Professionalism (SOPs) on Orthopaedic Expert Witness Testimony.
I frankly do not feel like wasting space on the board's thought process. You can check it out at:
February 2009 Issue

The AAOS does not seem to get that the real danger for its profession is the imposition of "socialized medicine." And like the stealth introduction of the "Hospitalist Program Model" previously, the introduction of the "Federal Medical Board" and federally mandated treatment protocols has already slipped in through the (alleged) stimulus bill.

Of course, the federal government has held the carrot of "so long as physicians follow the federally mandated treatment protocols, they will be immune from medical malpractice law suits." I am concerned about what type of true medical professional really sell his soul to the federal government for that promise?

Expert orthopedic opinions should be weighed by the finder of fact (judge or jury) against the defendant-orthopedic surgeon. It is called “battle of the experts.”

The AAOS seems to be controlling the field of tort reform as it relates to orthopedic surgery by intimidating a patient’s second treating orthopedic surgeon into leaving the injured orthopedic patient with no recourse. (Hmmm. Sounds like exactly what I am going through).

How does the AAOSintimidation of its member orthopedic surgeons resulting in (1) horribly injured orthopedic patients (i.e. me) and (2) the continued uninterrupted medical practice of a potentially “bad doctor” (i.e. my first orthopedic surgeon, Chris Dangles, MD at Carle Clinic in Urbana Illinois) advance the AAOS’ mission statement?


1. Physicians better start advocating for a cessation to the march towards socialism in medicine.

2. Physicians better start expecting excellence in their own profession.

3. By continuing to allow "bad doctors" to practice medicine without consequences, the medical profession marginalizes itself!


  1. Well said!! see my posting at:

  2. Thanks Dr. Graboff. I hope the attorneys get disciplined severely. That was wholly unethical. They should not have licenses for a while.

    The AAOS is familiar with - I could not resist the temptation to call the AAOS out on Twitter and ask why they are still protecting bad orthopedic surgeons and intimidating good ones!

    I linked to your story/blog on Twitter because I think it is a part of tort reform that is not addressed. If you want me to go back and delete the link, I certainly will.

    The medical profession is on the verge of major changes on so many levels. Who protects the patients and the good physicians?

    I have specifically asked the AMA and AAOS to either demand that the Obama administration name the surgeons who are lopping off limbs for profit OR, alternatively, let's all just agree that the claims of crazed surgeons is a lie. [enter cricket sounds here :-)]

    The AAOS should have stood up for the orthopedic surgeons when our president accused the professionals of cutting off feet inside of treating diabetes because they could make more $$. The AAOS should have demanded names of the crazy orthopedic surgeons to (as is its mission) protect the public and profession. Those unnamed orthopedic surgeons should be disciplined! Why on Earth would the AAOS not speak up . . . lobbyists and politics. Amazing to me.

    Oh, I am on my AAOS soapbox again. Sorry.

    I am glad the dopes from PA could not mess with your board certification.

    Best to you, Cheryl Handy