Saturday, June 6, 2009

Are 2007 Duke Orthopedic Residency program doctors "bad"?

I have dealt with many doctors and surgeons at Duke University Hospital. As I have mentioned, beware of Hospitalists. I frankly have never encountered a Hospitalist at Duke University Hospital that would even communicate with (much less follow the recommendations of) my dad's current treating Duke Clinic doctors.

Duke University Hospital's hospitalists' apparent "turf war" has caused physical and medical damage to my dad.

Now apparently we need to be careful about the Duke Orthopedic Residency program "doctors." My and my mom's recent encounter with the (IMHO) unpleasant, arrogant and rude orthopedic resident was traumatizing to my elderly mom. She was horrified that the young orthopedic resident would not even clarify the orders (regarding weight bearing) with the responsible surgeon, Dr. Mark E. Easley. More than horrified, my elderly mom was actually frightened for her husband's safety and well-being at the hands of the young orthopedic resident since the individual refused to clarify orders with the responsible surgeon, Dr. Mark Easley.

Then I recall the resident that cared for my dad during the 3-week DUH hospitalization. Dr. Mark Easley was again the responsible physician. Dr. Easley ordered urine cultures because dad was prone to infections after being cathed. The hospitalist/orthopedic resident knew Dr. Easley's order. Regardless, the young hospitalist/orthopedic resident ignored Dr. Easley's order. What kind of resident does that?

The Hospitalist/orthopedic resident called me on the phone and told me that it did not matter what Dr. Easley ordered. What? You are the resident
. Are you suggesting by your actions that you know more than Dr. Mark E. Easley?

The orthopedic resident told me that he was a DUH hospitalist and his job was to save money. Therefore, explained the orthopedic resident, there would be no cultures but only a urine dip stick test (which was apparently negative).

I took dad to his non-Duke urologist immediately after he left DUH. Dad had a raging UTI that indeed showed negative on the urine dip stick test.

Older men with prostate problems often show a negative dip stick test. But

(1) The orthopedic resident should have complied with the attending doctor's order and

(2) The orthopedic resident apparently does not have a working knowledge of the dangers of complications of UTIs in elderly men. Or perhaps orthopedic resident just does not care.

So how can you protect your loved one?

(1) Demand that the surgery be performed at the ambulatory surgery center

(2) Be wary if you are passed you off to an orthopedic resident. Yes, it is a teaching hospital and the residents are "learning." But arrogance and refusal to follow attending surgeons' orders is beyond what a patient should be expected to tolerate at a teaching hospital.

I could care less how technically skilled a medical student is - the best indicator that a doctor will be "bad" is arrogance and an unwillingness to communicate with the patient's family.

Doctors with egos are dangerous. Just plain dangerous.

(sorry, you may have to cut and paste the following)


  1. God bless you. Seriously. I read your comment to my mom and she thought it was something I wrote! This has happened to many inpatients at DUH. We have all just been trained to worship Duke.

    I agree with you - the surgeons are phenomenal. But the hospitalists and residents are just plain unaccountable and sloppy.

    The whole idea that the actual Duke surgeon is pushed to the side when the Duke surgeon admits you to the hospital is absolutely crazy. (As you know)

    I am so happy that your TK was good. Dr. Easley is a great doctor and human being. (I wish he would get wise to what residents and hospitalists do to his patients!!)

    I was living in Chicago in 2006 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I came to Duke for breast cancer treatment. The surgeon was arrogant and only did the surgery and I hated the whole surgical process. The chemo was even worse. I felt like a number and then the last chemo tx, the Duke breast cancer oncologist said - "ya know, in Europe, you might have not even had chemo - lets just ablate your ovaries!" What?

    My medical oncologist is now at Northwestern in Chicago.

    I agree with you. Duke orthopedics is the best (at least the actual surgeons).

    And in the midst of a time when egotistical residents and hospitalists push the surgeons out of the way during admissions, we should be scared to death about universal health care.

    You are in my prayers for the BR CA treatment. I know MANY women who did not treat at Duke for BR CA (even Duke employees) and they are doing great.

    If you did a TKR, you can kick cancer's ass.

    Stay strong and thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog.

  2. I did two TKRs! Six months apart, the last one on New Year's Eve. Can't decide which was worse, the cancer surgery and treatment or the two total knee replacements.

    I made a decision today to stick with my local (Cary) family practice. My physician assistant there is the best ever (Crescent Family Practice). She is even better than any family practice doctor I've ever had. She's sharp as a tack. I'm letting her help me to make decisions toward "weaning" myself away from big Duke.

    Sure, I'll keep Duke for my orthopedic surgeon and the electrophysiology/cardiology. And I still plan to go there for my follow up post-cancer (cured, baby!) treatments. If I show to have breast cancer in the next few weeks, I think I'll stick around Raleigh for treatment.

    No matter where I go for inpatient admissions, I know I will watch out for my azz. It's paid off in the past. Real people make real mistakes at hospitals. Not a good thought. It's happened to me and your dad, and many others.

    Now I'm worried about being admitted and ending up with a "hospitalist". Can I ask not to have one? What happened to being admitted and just having your admitting doctor give the orders? I really didn't know the hospitalist existed til I started reading some blogs. And residents!! I will get a voodoo doll and keep it under my pillow if admitted to any hospital, to keep residents on their toes. I've been skrewed over by a few already.

    What's a good hospital in the Raleigh/Cary area? I remember decades ago when Rex Hospital was fabulous. My private room was like a hotel room, nearly. The nurses were attentive and so nice. That was in 1991. Wonder what it's like now? Anyone know, cause I'm thinking about using Rex.

    But then, there's Wake Med in Cary right near my home. What's the story on them?

    I was born at the old Rex on Wade Avenue, 1950. I had my children at the "new" Rex. I love what I remember of Rex. Now it's a UNC affiliated hosp. How has that changed things? More residents?

    I was a patient at the "new" Wake Med Cary in 1991. It was very new then. I wasn't very impressed then, but it seems to have improved, since I've been to the ER in the past few yrs. Am I right?

    If I have breast cancer, where do I go? I haven't decided. All hints welcome.

    I'll never plan to be an inpatient at Duke again, if I can help it. The inpatient food is godawful, the rooms are so tiny it's dangerous. The bed was not comfortable.

    But Duke has some great doctors. Great. And you can be pretty sure they keep current in their work. Small local practices make me wonder: when does the local guy get time to update, learn new stuff, you know? I'm sticking with my "local home family practice". I'm learning a lot from my phys. asst., when I ask her things. I know a smart person who cares when I see one, and I know a dummy when I see one. I steer clear of the latter.

    Well, let's try to stay out of the hospitals, and hope the hospitalists stay away from us.

  3. You do not have to be treated by hospitalist stranger doc. I have told dr easley that i demand he be the attending in hospital & that means he has ultimate responsibility. I just tell hospitalists to leave.

    Duke employees have goneto unc for br ca care. I live in cary & br ca friends say rex in raleigh is great. I will ask about specific docs and report back!