In this week’s post, physicians’ behavior goes from the ridiculous to the deadly serious.
Social media strikes again. TikTok videos show Brazilian plastic surgeon Caren Trisoglio Garcia dancing with transparent bags of fat that she had removed from patients. Her medical license was suspended. She had already been sanctioned by the Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery, and could have her license revoked. The good news is she has 645,000 TikTok followers. You can see some of the clips here.
The case brings to mind other “vidiots” like the Alaska dentist who recorded himself pulling teeth while standing on a hover board and the Georgia dermatologist who posted videos of herself singing and dancing while operating. Why do educated professionals do things like this?
Speaking of throwing away a career, Marc McClure, a radiologist in Northern Ireland, was struck off [prohibited from working]. He had twice been found guilty of hiding his mobile phone in a women’s restroom at his work. The first time he was caught, he was sentenced to probation. The second offense resulted in a nine-month jail term.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, his computer also contained video clips of family friends in the bathroom of his house. I am sorry for his victims and his family.
Florida obstetrician Berto Lopez had his license revoked 4 years after a patient suffered a fatal hemorrhage of the cervix during a difficult delivery. Lopez said he could not see things clearly in the delivery room because of the bleeding and a problem with the lights. The delivery occurred just after 8 AM. Almost 14 hours later, Lopez took her to the operating room and performed a supracervical hysterectomy, leaving the still bleeding cervix in place. He claimed—refuted by a nurse—he had to wait for an operating room. Active bleeding trumps elective surgery. Surely an operating room could have been available much sooner.
The Yahoo! News article said he left the hospital after the operation to go home and change his bloodstained scrubs. I have never been in a hospital that did not have scrubs of all sizes [at least extra-large] on hand.
He left the patient to be cared for by a nurse, an anesthesiologist, and an off-site intensivist using telemedicine. I used to tell my residents and nurses that if they were not receiving a proper response from a clinician, they should call their supervisor and bump the problem up the chain of command.
This was Lopez’s third brush with the board of medicine and the second one involving the death of a postpartum patient from hemorrhaging. In that 2014 case, she was bleeding after a cesarean section. For that, he was fined and told he could not operate without the supervision of a board-certified obstetrician.
The 2017 death resulted in a lawsuit which was settled in 2019. Lopez is apparently one of the 8.3% of physicians in Florida who not carry malpractice insurance. He has fallen behind in his payments, and now that he can no longer work as a physician, he will probably never be able to satisfy the terms of the settlement.
Why did it take 4 years to pull his license?
Skeptical Scalpel is a retired surgeon and was a surgical department chair and residency program director for many years. He is board-certified in general surgery and a surgical sub-specialty and has re-certified in both several times. For the last 9 years, he has been blogging at SkepticalScalpel.blogspot.com and tweeting as @SkepticScalpel. His blog has had more than 3,700,000 page views, and he has over 21,000 followers on Twitter.