Saturday, April 5, 2008

My Dad's Hospital Stay

My dad was recently hospitalized in a Florida hospital. I’m not sure if it’s this work or my own past experience with medical care and the death of my son from errors in healthcare that put me into that gut wrenching feeling that hospitalization can mean a death sentence. I guess it’s something many medical error survivors feel even many years after their experience.

In this case, my mom called me with the name of the hospital and the doctor’s name. He wasn’t in for anything too serious but that shouldn’t matter. Every hospitalization should be treated serious when we know how dangerous it could be.

The hospital seemed to have won all kinds of awards and was as “good” as a hospital could probably be. But, when I looked up the doctors name on the Florida Department of Health website it read “This practitioner does not currently hold staff privileges at any hospital/medical/health institution in Florida”.

This statement on his self reported profile was as equaling troublesome:

Professional and Postgraduate Training: This practitioner has not completed any graduate medical education.

A gastroenterologist, I would have thought there needs to be some additional training.

I immediately called the Department of Health and only after speaking to 5 people, was anyone able to tell me for certain that this doctor could not practice in the state of Florida as per this profile. Calling Quality Assurance at the hospital I asked them about this information and they told me they had different information and I was mistaken. “I am not mistaken” I explained and faxed her what I was reading. “I will ask my mother to have that doctor removed from my fathers care until you can explain why this doctor can not practice in Florida”

They found another gastroenterologist to treat my dad but before he ever saw him, the first doctor called me to ask what I found and seemed completely oblivious to the states profiling website.

He went on to tell me all his credentials and his good name and then allowed me to offer to help him fix this “mess”. He gratefully accepted and continued as my fathers doctor knowing that we are empowered with information he may not (or may) have known about.

Although I am still concerned that this information was not accurate or just wrong, I was glad that we had this conversation and the practices that I preached worked. We had an open conversation, cleared the air, discussed my concerns and continued the relationship.

I will give him two weeks to fix it.

1 comment: said...

My name is Josephine and I am a member of We are having a "Walk for Patient Safety" on Saturday, April 19, 2008 in Rockville Centre, New York. Please visit our website: for details. Our goal is to significantly reduce the hundreds and thousands of deaths and injuries each year that are due to medical errors. Please help us by joining our "Walk for Patient Safety" and/or telling everyone about it. There is no fee to register and there is no fee to "Walk." Many thanks for your attention and support. I attach a flyer with regard to our "Walk" for your distribution.

Kind regards,
Josephine Carol Cicchini
646-244-5509 or 516-746-3310 or