Doctors and mistakes: big and small

Friday, November 6, 2009

Doctors are humans and we all make. Some are really big and others are small. Over the past week, we've seen two dramatic examples of physicians who appear to have done some terrible things. I don't write this to judge them, but to say that physicians are vulnerable to stress, mental health problems, greed, and other conditions.
It's a sad reality, but doctors can fall and make some really big mistakes. I don't know if we'll ever fully understand why these individuals did the things they did. Some may think that it's a simple matter of greed, anger, or hatred. Perhaps they suffered serious mental trauma. I personally think that it probably involves a combination of many different psychological factors to cause physicians to make such poor decisions. After all, the brain is very complex and we really don't understand what makes certain people do crazy things that are irrational and bizarre.


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Dr. Joseph Kim is the founder of, an independent website owned and operated by Dr. Kim. He is also the President of MCM Education, a professional medical education and publishing company that develops continuing medical education (CME) activities in joint sponsorship with medical universities, hospitals, and medical associations.

Dr. Kim is a digital entrepreneur and technologist who has a passion for health information technology, mobile health, and social media. He frequently speaks at conferences about non-clinical careers for physicians, continuing medical education, mobile health technology, and social media in medicine. He is a regular contributor for the Physician Executive Journal, the official journal of the American College of Physician Executives.

Dr. Kim holds a bachelor of science in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a doctorate of medicine from the University of Arkansas College of Medicine, and a master of public health from the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health.
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