Botched diagnosis, attempted murder, to cover it up.  but..... patient survived to warn others.


Disturbing precedent

In the early 1990s, high dose steroids became the standard of care for acute spinal cord injury,6 reinforced by a Cochrane review. The Cochrane Collaboration, is widely known to have strict standards concerning conflicts of interest, yet in this case the collaboration permitted Michael Bracken, who declared he was an occasional consultant to steroid manufacturers Pharmacia and Upjohn, to serve as the sole reviewer.7 He was also the lead researcher on the single landmark study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine,8 used to support the Cochrane review.

Neurosurgeons were not convinced. Many expressed concern about high rates of infection, prolonged hospital stays, and death with high dose steroids.9 10 One expert estimated that more patients had been killed by the treatment in the past decade than died in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.5

A poll of over 1000 neurosurgeons showed that only 11% believed the treatment was safe and effective. Only 6% thought it should be a standard of care. Yet when asked if they would continue prescribing the treatment, 60% said that they would. Many cited a fear of malpractice if they failed to follow “a standard of care.”5

That standard was reversed this March, when the Congress of Neurological Surgeons issued new guidelines. The congress found that, “There is no Class I or Class II medicine evidence supporting the benefit of [steroids] in the treatment of acute [spinal cord injury]. However, Class I, II, and III evidence exists that high-dose steroids are associated with harmful side effects including death.”11







The Shelly Skalicky story

  Shelly Skalicky was born in 1956 at a hospital in New York with a mild form of cervical spine spina-bifida. It was successfully closed at birth, she lived a completely normal life unaware she even had a birth defect until in her late twenties when she started experiencing numbness in her hands. That is when questions were raised about the small two inch scar on the back of her neck, her mother then told her she was born with spina-bifida.











MRI’s were in their infancy in 1987, not much more than candle soot on a large sheet of plastic.

By 1990 Shelly found a neurosurgeon who was able to tell a cyst had developed and was damaging her spinal cord at the birth defect area. A surgery was preformed to shunt the cyst and relive the pressure on the spinal cord.

  That surgery was again successful and she walked out of the hospital four days latter and finished Collage at U of O Phi Bata Kapa. Psychology. Although Shelly never had any children of her own, she dedicated her life to children as a pre-school teacher, social worker and public speaker helping people understand state regulations on daycares.












By 2006 Shelly started experiencing numbness in her extremities again and asked to have the three inch implant evaluated at University of North Carolina Hospital.

UNC records   11/30/06    12/22/06 final  12/22/06      1/16/07   2/19/07  3/30/07  11/2/07 

Because the 1990 shunt (PAPER) record was never entered into her North Carolina ELECTRONIC medical records. And the 1990 surgery was one of the last done like that. Medical staff in 2006 may not have ever seen an implant like that in their life, they simply assumed it was some other type of shunt, and assumed she had some other condition [Syringomyella and/or Hydrocephalus means "water on the brain."]. This [assumption] communication failure has proven to have catastrophic problems for dozens of people involved in Shelly’s care even to this day. [Not excluding the fact it ultimately caused Shelly to now require 24/7 care with no hope of medical intervention, or even having her medical records corrected.] 

 By 2008 Shelly was not comfortable with University of North Carolina Hospital's diagnosis of "tethered cord syndrome" and they refused to say anything about the three inch implant in the middle of the surgery field in question. So as the numbness symptoms progressed she asked to be referred to someone else.

Here is what followed.  










1. Spine Director of Duke University Hospital Robert Eric Isaacs MD named in federal fraud lawsuit 4/9/08 [Blatant disregard for human life in falsifying and downplaying off label use of Medtronic products].

2. Spine Director of Duke University Hospital Robert Eric Isaacs MD with blatant disregard for human life [wanting to sell a detethering surgery] knowingly ordered x-ray without understanding medical history or why the patient was seeing him, or offering any patient information for radiology to understand why the image study was ordered.

  She was referred to Duke University Hospital for her first appointment to get a proper diagnosis on May 14th 2008  Ah! the shunt boss, the shunt! :-) :-)

Repeat process, take 1990 surgery record, 1987 MRI [too large to link here, large plastic sheets] images and try again at another medical University but  the same disregard for medical history was not only repeated, it was exacerbated. 

Shelly thinking the new doctor was going to evaluate the shunt proved to be entirely wrong.  However a baseline physical therapy evaluation was done documenting numbness in extremities, medical surgery history was documented, and plan to have x-ray and MRI done and evaluated by the new neurosurgeon.

 The new Neurosurgeon ordered X-Ray with NO medical history or patient clinical symptoms what so ever, only a single word “Syringomyella”.  

The radiologist would immediately have known an X-Ray was completely inappropriate for anything to do with Syringomyella, but made no effort to clarify why the X-Ray was ordered in the first place.  However the radiologist did see the three inch implant in the cervical spine, and only documented it’s existence.


It is important to note this May 14th 2008 x-ray and the fact Robert Isaacs was given a copy of the 1990 shunt surgery record will be completely forgotten about until after the post-op records were falsified by no less than four Duke medical Professors to cover-up the ultimate pending miss-diagnosis.







3. Spine Director of Duke University Hospital Robert Eric Isaacs MD with blatant disregard for human life [wanting to sell a detethering surgery] knowingly ordered MRI without understanding medical history or why the patient was seeing him, or offering any patient information for radiology to understand why the image study was ordered.

4. Spine Director of Duke University Hospital Robert Eric Isaacs MD with blatant disregard for human life [wanting to sell a detethering surgery] knowingly did not reference for radiology his own earlier X-RAY to the MRI causing the failed 1990 implant being missed as well as the anterior cyst that was/still is compressing the spinal cord.

  The same neurosurgeon [Dr. Robert Isaacs then ordered an MRI with such poor patient history, no patient clinical condition that radiologist had no idea what her was looking for, or access to the X-Ray done just days prior showing/documenting the three inch implant. Again, no attempt to clarify why the MRI was ordered in the first place.  To make things worse, the MRI images are considered of “very poor quality”. 

Not only was the failed three inch implant completely missed, but the huge cervical spine cyst compressing her spinal cord again was also missed. Thus the surgery history was disregarded and reliance on MRI findings [although absolutely wrong] became medical fact and diagnosis of tethered cord became poured in concrete.


Somehow Dr Robert Isaacs was able to tell the spinal cord "was CLEARLY tethered" yet he could not see the three inch implant or the huge cyst?

   Side note, Dr Robert Isaacs was also caught in a fraud lawsuit at the same time for accepting bribes from medical device company Medtronic. [Duke University top dog, Victor Dzau sits on the board of directors of Medtronic]

Not comfortable with this doctor’s refusal to acknowledge the 1990 implant and diagnosis, she asked for yet another opinion.

 Repeat process with yet another Duke neurosurgeon Dr. Gerald A. Grant. Again,  take 1990 surgery record, 1987 MRI images but now there is the 2008 X-Ray and MRI to use. But once again, the same disregard for medical history and the X-Ray clearly showing the implant was repeated again. No one noticed the three inch implant, or the huge cyst compressing the spinal cord.

 As Shelly and I clearly had a lack of trust in the diagnosis, and reluctance to proceed, Dr. Gerald A. Grant then said the spinal cord would be monitored by a “whole team" called NIOM [ Neurophysiological intra operative monitoring] to keep her safe from harm.

Even Duke University Hospital web site touted IOM as playing a "key roll" in all de-tethering surgeries.  Well everyone can’t be wrong can they?  The sense of apprehension was eased, and we agreed to "informed consent", [now known to be "grossly deceptive sell job"]  to surgery to again stop the progression of numbness symptoms.

After going home, doing some studying on what NIOM is, and the university’s own website touted “NIOM as playing a key roll in all detethering surgeries” as well as listing the very neurosurgeon on that same page gave us a sense of comfort. Well everyone can’t be wrong, and they clearly are good at NIOM. The consent form was signed.

Billing records:   Provider   Detail Pharm













July 28th 2008 7:29 AM incision without usable/reliable NIOM data.  Shelly never agreed to that!

Months after the failed surgery and we were able to pulle these records from risk management,  we noticed the date, time and surgery location were wrong on this report, as well as being dictated 18 days prior to surgery, we latter requested an electronic copy.  Wala!, everything [date and time] was fixed except still dictated 18 days prior to surgery, and the electronic signature was glaringly absent.

 During surgery, while working under microscope at about 10:38 it became undeniable they were doing the wrong surgery and Dr Isaacs entered the operating room. Protocol dictated Risk Management be alerted immediately. ENTER THE LAWYERS WITH DENY AND DEFEND AT ALL COSTS!

Post-op note by the attending surgeon Dr Grant don't list Dr Issacs as being an active participant in the surgery, yet Dr. Isaacs was paid full tilt for the four hour of surgery and just prior to discharge offered his own surgery note implying he was involved. Compare "that" record to the actual medical/surgery history. Dr. Isaacs fabricated surgery history magically matches the horrid outcome, albeit all fabricated to cover-up his botched diagnosis.

12:18 PM end of surgery. Shelly clearly is displaying neurological injury, normal sensory in all extremities except left arm.

12:40 PM  Methylprednisaolone High Dose { Suspected 

2:00PM STAT MRI ordered “patient now unable to move extremities” . [problem here the STAT MRI will show the misdiagnosis cyst compressing the spinal cord, and the failed three inch  implant seen under microscope during surgery].

3:06PM Betsy Hughes Grunch MD REQUEST: Somatosensory study ,Reason for Somatosansory study: Evaluate spinal cord dysfunction.  Study Requested: Soir.atosensory Study Reason for Somatosensory study: Evaluate spinal cord dysfunction .. Pager if lab has questions: 2671 07/28 15:06 07/28 15:06 ?re-op study











University administration policy is deadly to doctors, nurses and patients, but very profitable to administrators.

Click image above, "NO compressive fluid collections"  It looks altered to me.

How ever it became "NO" does not matter, it proves beyond a reasonable doubt "intent to kill or harm by injection of lovenox and high doses of morphine"


This one hand written word regarding this image at 6:00 PM on July 28th 2008 will forever effect so many lives.



.   1 

Of the 400 plus images less than 100 are used in the STAT MRI findings, the remaining 300 images showing the surgery field were omitted from the findings.1. The huge cyst compressing the spinal cord,  2. The failed three inch implant in the cyst,  3. The top of the three inch implant became entangled in the blood supply at the brain stem    4. Worst of all, a huge post-op spinal hematoma now compressing the cyst against the spinal cord even more. [ hematoma, A text book medical emergency see Duke residency manual and curse instructed by same professor]

Left is actual images of what was not included in the STAT MRI findings.

Neuroscience note 7:25 PM No sensation from armpits down

All of this would also be latter omitted from the attending surgeons operative report.


Denying the obvious medical emergency post-op complication "spinal hematoma" that was now compressing the cyst against the spinal cord even more blood thinner Lovenox was ordered  FDA LOVENOX WARNING"   It is still unbearable to think anyone would find it was more important to focus on covering up the botched diagnosis than even pretend to save Shelly's life......  6:28 No sensation from neck down, patient unable to move anything except her head, order morphine. [Well known not to be effective for neurophatic pain, but in high doses, will suppress respiration enough to suffocate]. Result of abandonment 6:48 PM no sensation from armpits down  May God have mercy on your sole  (North Carolina Statute)  I am not going to try to describe the nightmare of pain of a post-op spinal hematoma, while unable to move anything but her head, unable to push call button, barely able to draw enough wind to try to beg for help in ICU, an no one ever responded. I do mean “no one







Billing detail set:   one  two  three   four 

NC Law  one   North Carolina Rules   three   Inspector general 2012







  The dry board in her ICU room for doctor’s names, etc. was not only wiped clean, but there was no marker there to put doctor/nurse names on it.  Food trays were stacked up on the room table on atop the other, no attempt to even give water let alone food or pain control.

There was a toilet of sorts in her Neuro ICU room that may times was sitting un-flushed with urine, and or baby powder bottle floating in it.

The oxygen alarm was for ever squealing, and no one responding.  I finally went down the hall to ask someone to come tell me what the alarm means, and what can “I” do to help my wife?  They casually walked down to her room with the alarm still squealing looked in and said, oh, [while pointing to the thing on the wall] that is the oxygen alarm, you will need to try to get her to inhale more until  that number is over 80. So as I would try to adjust the position of the oxygen thing in her nose, and encourage her to try to inhale to get the alarm to stop. [Horrid pain in her spine, barely able to maintain consciousness from all the morphine injections] It was clear, if Shelly was going to live it was up to me to keep her alive.

 Day two through day three, as the food trays stacked up, I looked to see what was inside, wow truck driver food. So when I again and found someone to ask if it was OK if I went down the the hospital food court and got some food she could eat?  Response, “Sure, the more you do the less I have to do”.  So I went and bought a small bowl of cooked peaches, and took them to Neuro ICU where I diced them into tiny pieces and spoon fed her nibbles at a time. I then found someone and asked for some chipped ice, and I spoon fed nibbles of chipped ice to give some relief of her never ending thirst.

  Now keeping the alarms off, spoon feeding nibbles of cooked peaches and crushed ice. Shelly’s surgeon walks in and leaned over Shelly and looked me strait in the eye and laughed out loud.  As my tears ran down my face, I slowly lifted my head and said “Go have fun somewhere else” she said “Danny just go get my bible and put it where I can see it.”

I left the hospital and made my way home, picked up Shelly’s bible, and picked up the phone and called a retired doctor friend of ours to tell him what was happening. He immediately responded “Get her off of the morphine, she will suffocate” dropping to my knees many times during the first week without sleep,  I drove myself back to the Hospital bible in hand and found someone and told them to get her off of the morphine!

 First they denied she was on morphine, they then agreed [after some debate] went to Oxycotton, Roxycotton, Oxycodone combination. It was during this time it was not uncommon for nursing staff to be outside her room making jokes because Shelly could not even push her call button [That never did work anyway].   The bitterness that caused will never be forgotten any more than her surgeon right up in my face laughing out loud who we entrusted her life to him.

At this time [day five] Pain management was called in, they first proposed “meditation”

.  I stormed out saying I am going to go get her some help!  I went home, and started calling people, it was clear she could not be left alone in the hospital, and I had not slept in five days. I was crashing hard. 

 By the time I got back to the hospital [about three hours] with one of Shelly’s friends who would stay with her, Shelly was now jacked up on to oxycotton, roxycotton, Oxycodone, the pain was manageable.  I was glad others did not witness what we did.

At this time [I latter found out] Risk Management came in] all “concerned” and took lots of notes. In closing their response was quote “Well maybe she won’t remember it”  What? That is your response?











It took a total of 15 days until Shelly was stable enough that an ambulance crew would agree to evacuate her to another hospital.   

It was moths latter when we started getting dribs and drabs of medical records we learned she now has a fabricated medical history of multiple de-tethering surgeries omitting the actual medical history of the 1990 implant, no mention of any cyst. Discharge report actually states quote “STAT MRI shows NO postoperative hematoma or spinal cord compression?”

 I was fortunate that the compassion of the University of North Carolina Hospital Seventh floor rehab staff who rescued her and trained me how to keep shelly alive once she was discharged. Shelly will live the rest of her life needing 24/7 care, and unable to tell where her body is from the neck down without using sight to move her limbs.

2010 follow up Husband remains confrontational stating patient has a shunt in her cervical spine.





One word will change so many lives




Who is lying?


The thin line preventing healing healthcare is called Medical University Administration ego and greed.



Here is our struggle to find morals

Risk Management position the 1.5 Million preventable injuries every year are "Frivolous"

After exhausting other options, we are now [5/6/13] trying to work through the Captain of criminal investigations Greg Stotsenberg at Duke University to broker a meeting between Shelly's doctors and us .If he is successful It will be the first time Shelly's doctors have agreed to see us since they realized they were doing the wrong surgery on 7/28/08

Until a resolution is established, I will continue to publish dozens of undeniable evidence of medical corruption involved in just this one patients case that leads all the way to the top of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. Duke University Hospital, District Attorney, and elected state officials. [MUCH MUCH MORE TO BE ADDED HERE]

A total of 51 days until I brought her home in her own car to find a letter dated Sept 25th 2008 from Duke University hospital Risk Management stating,  "After a thorough review Shelly’s care it was found to be appropriate and within the standard of care". 

After asking for enough medical records it was clear things were VERY WRONG.  We asked for a sit down meeting with heads of Duke Risk Management and Patient Safety. Once we got to the meeting on Sept 29th 2009 we were immediately advised Duke board of directors had suddenly named Bobbie Hendrix [the head of risk management] the interim head of patient safety, it was NOT going to be discussed!!  Needles to say the conflict of interests was apparent, but we proceeded anyway with Bobbie Hendrix and Deborah Beddingfield. [both from risk management].  After expressing our concerns in writing about the medical history of the shunt was now missing, the post op care was inappropriate, we received the same intentionally hurtful response including much more effort to misdirect away from our concerns.  Both Duke risk management responses

Oct 20th 2010 North Carolina Medical Board give thumbs up to Dr, Robert Isaacs careless disregard for human life [Botching image MRI and X=Ray orders, failing to document patient's actual medical history and botching diagnosis, caught in fraud lawsuit, falsifying medical records]


Oct 20th 2010 North Carolina Medical Board give thumbs up to Dr, Betsy Hughes Grunch's careless disregard for human life. [Participating in falsifying medical records= discharge report stating "no post-op hematoma]

Oct 20th 2010 North Carolina Medical Board give thumbs up to Dr, Gerald A. Grant's careless disregard for human life. [Deceptive trade practices, Misleading patient on IOM use during surgery, and falsifying medical records]

Oct 20th 2010 North Carolina Medical Board give thumbs up to Dr, Jeffrey Petrella's careless disregard for human life. [Participation in falsifying medical records Post-op STAT MRI findings]

Sept 29th 2010 North Carolina Medical Board give thumbs up to Dr, Ames's careless disregard for human life. [Post-op anesthesia care, calling patients home for two days as "follow-up" when patient was in ICU fighting for her life with a post-op spinal hematoma and being injected with morphine and lovenox]

Sept 29th 2010 North Carolina Medical Board give thumbs up to Dr, Hoffmester's careless disregard for human life

Oct 20th 2010 North Carolina Medical Board give thumbs up to Dr, Aatif Husain's careless disregard for human life

Legal  representation denial   Faison and Gillespie

Legal  representation denial  

Legal  representation denial   Henson Fuerst

Legal  representation denial  Melvin Law Firm

Legal  representation denial   Motley Rice

Legal  representation denial   Warner Law Offices  

 2013 Duke Compliance office refusal to to correct medical records, "Records are accurate and complete"

Medical board response   2010  2013 

* 2008 Duke response to concerns * 2013 Duke Compliance denial to amend  * Medical board response   2010  2013  Shelly's other related medical records

Shelly's other related medical records  It's all about making money, patients are a dime a dozen.


 Here is what we have learned

Without Autopsies, Hospitals Bury Their Mistakes

New York Times  Report Finds Most Errors at Hospitals Go Unreported:  WASHINGTON — Hospital employees recognize and report only one out of seven errors, accidents and other events that harm Medicare patients while they are hospitalized, federal investigators say in a new report.  Yet even after hospitals investigate preventable injuries and infections that have been reported, they rarely change their practices to prevent repetition of the “adverse events,” according to the study, from Daniel R. Levinson, inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services.

New York Times  Misdiagnosis is more common than drug errors or wrong-site surgery  Diagnoses that are missed, incorrect or delayed are believed to affect 10 to 20 percent of cases, far exceeding drug errors and surgery on the wrong patient or body part, both of which have received considerably more attention

Forbes  Healthcare is the only industry where making more errors can earn you more profit.

New York Times   Specifically, the researchers found that profit margins were 330% higher when patients with private coverage experienced at least one complication.5/9/13    Duke University Hospital gets "A" rating even though post op death rate is among the worst in the country?  (Representative of a high rate of complications due to misdiagnosis to start?) 

Atul Gawandi, Check List

New York Times bestselling author Atul Gawande in The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. In my hospital, as many others around the country, many of his recommendations are, in fact, being instituted such as with the Keystone initiative. I believe Makary makes some great points which should be seriously considered by hospital administrators and physician leaders.

CBS NEWS   150,000 Misdiagnosis every year, 80,000 die every year, often the correct diagnosis is right in front of the doctor, but never looks at it.


Study by Center for disease control CDC  Survey of New York City Resident Physicians on Cause-of-Death Reporting, 2010 Hospitals forcing residents to lie?  Of all respondents, 70.0% believed they were forced to identify an alternate cause of death when the patient died of septic shock. Oh this is not good!

Unaccountable: Dr. Makary begins with a chapter describing what every doctor has experienced, which is a horribly incompetent surgeon who manages to succeed nevertheless through the use of good bedside manner and other social skills. As a surgeon in training, one of his professors was nicknamed "Dr. Hodad", which was a secret acronym for "Hands of Destruction and Death". The book then describes the pervasive culture shared by most divisional Chiefs and Chairs to prioritize protecting the medical profession over protecting the patient, and how any doctor reporting another doctor's unsafe ways would be ostracized, demoted, or even fired.

NPR The Peoples Pharmacy  There is a culture of cover-up in medicine that has been very effective at keeping mistakes secret. A recent study found that the most sophisticated way of detecting harm in the hospital identified 100 times more problems than doctors reported. White Coat Conspiracy Covers Up Medical Tragedy & Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them. We have tried to provide tips and tools to patients and health professionals to help reduce the number of mistakes that are made every day in this country

MedScape Diagnostic Errors Dominate Malpractice Payouts Wrong-site surgeries grab headlines, but the diagnostic errors that quietly occur in clinicians' minds are "the most frequent, most severe, and most costly of medical mistakes" among paid malpractice claims, according to a new study published online Monday in BMJ Quality & Safety.

Brian Goldman, lets be honest

Forbes  Healthcare is the only industry where making more errors earn you more profit

Bloomberg With public accounting, hospitals would be answerable for patterns of recurring error. Consider: Of the 9,500 doctors in Marty Makary’s study who had been involved in one surgical mistake, 12 percent had at least one more. Hospitals would have a new incentive to improve by, for example, mandating checklists, instituting safety training and making sure the workplace culture supports members of surgical teams who speak up when they see something amiss. Lack of good communication is a root cause of surgical never events, the Joint Commission, a nonprofit health-care accreditation organization,

Hidden Medical study: Patients know what caused their harm in hospitals, but hospitals do not document facts.

Health Affairs  Despite more than a decade of national focus on patient safety, medical errors and other adverse events occur in one-third of hospital admissions—as much as ten times more than some previous estimates have indicated, according to authors of a new study in the April issue of Health Affairs. The April issue is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

 "Deception at Duke" 60 Minutes  it may end up being one of the biggest medical research frauds ever - one that deceived dying patients, the best medical journals

McGill University  Click image to download broadcast:  A March 27, 2013 radio interview with Dr. Nataros on MIKE FM in Montreal can be listened to at the following link:  Dr. Alex Nataros, MD will speak about medical errors and whistleblowing from within the health care system. Dr. Nataros was placed on forced administrative leave from his residency position at a McGill University-affiliated hospital in Montreal after reporting medical errors allegedly committed by senior physicians in an incident that nearly cost a patient his life. ( Interesting side note: Duke University top dog Victor Dzau graduated from McGill University in 1972)

New York Times  Hospitals Profit From Surgical Errors, Study Finds  Hospitals make money from their own mistakes because insurers pay them for the longer stays and extra care that patients need to treat surgical complications that could have been prevented, a new study finds.  (The study is based on a detailed analysis of the records of 34,256 people who had surgery in 2010 at one of 12 hospitals run by Texas Health Resources. Of those patients, 1,820 had one or more complications that could have been prevented,)   The authors said in an interview that they were not suggesting that hospitals were trying to make money by deliberately causing complications or refusing to address the problem. “Absolutely not,” said David Sadoff, a managing director of the Boston Consulting Group. “We don’t believe that is happening at all.”

Aviation and healthcare

ProPublica obtained prescribing data from Medicare’s prescription drug benefit, known as Part D, under the Freedom of Information Act. The data for 2010 includes 1.1 billion prescriptions written by 1.7 million doctors, nurses and other providers. This database lists 350,000 of those providers who wrote 50 or more prescriptions for at least one drug that year. Nearly three-fourths went to patients 65 and older; the rest were for disabled patients. Top prescription drug sales: California 7.7 Billion dollars, North Carolina ranks #8 with 2.27 Billion, Lowest Hawaii at 305 Million. 

Fierce Healthcare   Physicians tend to have a higher rate of alcohol and drug abuse than the general public, Sherry Franklin, M.D., president of the San Diego Medical Society, told NBC San Diego in March.  In fact, 15 percent of surgeons suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence, according to a February 2012 study in the Archives of Surgery.  Other safety-sensitive professions use random drug screenings, surgeons do not.  All hospitals should randomly test physicians for drug and alcohol use to enhance patient safety, according to a recommendation from two Johns Hopkins physicians and patient safety experts in a commentary published online recently in The Journal of the American Medical Association. 

 Washington Post   Surgeons left 4,857 objects in patients over the past two decades5/9/13  HEALTH & CARE  It found that each month one out of seven Medicare hospital patients is injured—and an estimated 15,000 are killed—by harmful medical practice. Treating the consequences of medical errors cost Medicare a full $324 million in October 2008 alone,  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have estimated that almost 100,000 Americans now die from hospital-acquired infections alone, and that most of these are preventable.

 Duke University Biggest Offender of Medical Research Misconduct in History?  Duke will likely try to recoup their image by ensuring the public that they are doing everything possible to repair the damages caused by the incident; and ensuring an incident like this will never occur again.  Not only is Dr. Potti’s research misconduct causing extensive financial damages, but it also may have instigated harmful treatment of patients across the country. This is the type of case where the cost of misconduct cannot be simply measured by lost jobs, slowed research or even financial losses.  The potential loss of life and damage to health that came out of this incident underscores the true damage caused by Potti’s fraud inside Duke University. The Emperor's No clothes is a Danish fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen and first published in 1837, as part of Eventyr, Fortalte for Born (Fairy Tales, Told for Children)