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'Dark underbelly' of medical culture

When you walk into your doctor's Warren County office, you expect not only a certain standard of medical care, but also a certain level of respect. After all, as a patient, you're the one who's paying the doctor. You're the one who is putting your trust in the physician and your money into his or her bank account.

While the medical community is pretty tight-lipped about what goes on behind its closed doors, several recent incidents have shed light on doctors who show disrespect and even contempt for patients who have been anesthetized. You might recall that Ohio media outlets earlier this year reported on an anesthesiologist ordered to pay $500,000 to a patient after the doctor's mocking, insulting comments were revealed in a medical malpractice trial.

Now comes news of an essay in the Annals of Internal Medicine describing doctors mocking patients while surgeries are being performed.

"I'll bet she's enjoying this," a surgeon said as he prepared a naked, anesthetized patient for a hysterectomy. A medical student who took part in the surgery told a humanities class about the incident.

The class's professor had his own story to tell about how an obstetrics resident had once saved the life of a woman hemorrhaging after giving birth. The resident had manually massaged the woman's uterus to stop bleeding, according to U.S. News and World Report.

After the crisis had been stemmed, the resident -- with his hand still inside the patient's body -- began singing "La Cucaracha" and dancing.

The bizarre, appalling behavior is evidence, the editors of Annals of Internal Medicine write, of a "dark underbelly" of medical culture in which outwardly professional doctors feel entitled to ridicule unsuspecting patients. And nurses, students, technicians and others are often afraid to challenge doctors' words and deeds; sometimes allowing medical malpractice to take place.

Springboro residents know that negligent doctors and hospitals can ruin lives. A Warren County attorney experienced in holding medical care providers accountable can assess your case and help you pursue your best legal option for full, fair compensation.

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