Every day, many hardworking doctors strive to provide exceptional care for their patients. Should they need medical attention themselves, they expect to receive the same level of care that they dispense, especially since they generally have the resources to pay for it. When on the receiving end of the healthcare system, however, physicians may be shocked to find medical staff ill-prepared and inattentive. As one practitioner recently revealed on social media, even doctors can be the victims of malpractice.
Healthcare At Its Worst
Ophthalmologist David Aizuss, M.D. traveled to Las Vegas in the final days of 2018, planning to attend a wedding. Instead, a sudden bout of pain sent him to a local emergency room, which led to a chain of events that opened his eyes to how fragmented the US healthcare system is.
He later reported on his Facebook page that he spent hours in the ER without being examined by a physician. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he was also confused with another patient. The mix-up almost caused him to be transferred to another hospital. Just when he thought the situation couldn’t get much worse, he was scheduled to have emergency surgery based on yet another patient’s lab results.
To avoid the possibility of subsequent snafus, Aizuss signed himself out of the Las Vegas hospital so he could return home to southern California to receive care from providers he trusted. (He did not name the Nevada hospital in his social media post).
A Platform for Advocacy
Aizuss serves as president of the California Medical Association. He is also a clinical professor of ophthalmology at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine. Considering his prominence in the medical community, he is the last person his colleagues would have expected to receive such poor treatment. However, his leadership roles place him in an optimal position to call attention to the shortcomings in American healthcare.
As the second-largest medical group in the US, the CMA represents more than 43,000 doctors. Several of the ophthalmologist’s friends on social media have encouraged him to speak out, noting that he can be a voice not only for other physicians but for patients who lack the resources to obtain better care. Too often, they receive subpar services and accept them as the status quo. The Nevada case highlights the need for increased advocacy and thoughtfully-implemented reforms.