Medicine: Weeding Out the Incompetents

The medical profession acts to discipline dangerous doctors

. After repeated complaints by colleagues about his incompetence, Dr. Jacinto Lopez was stripped of his privileges at Artesia General Hospital in New Mexico. That hardly put an end to his operations. Three years later, in his own meagerly equipped and unsanitary office, Lopez undertook a lower-leg amputation with the help of an untrained assistant. Though the operation was reported, it took the state board of medical examiners six months to investigate and nearly three years to revoke Lopez's license. Meanwhile, Lopez took a standard route out of trouble: he packed his scalpel and moved to another state.

Cardiologist Felix Balasco...

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