An Open Letter To Foot And Ankle Orthopedic Surgeons
Dear Fellow Foot and Ankle Specialist,
I am writing this letter to your group to bring to light a worsening problem between our two groups that is being perpetuated by a handful of members from your group. We are never going to agree on which group is best qualified to take care of foot and ankle pathologies. In reality, though, there is more than enough work for all of us to be very busy. We should try to concentrate on what we have in common: the medical and surgical management of the foot and ankle, and our dedication to healing those placed in our care.
The problem is that some members of your group are instigating unsubstantiated and unfounded lawsuits against members of our group. This is driving up our malpractice premiums and running podiatrists out of practice, solely for financial gain on the part of those instigating the claims and out of pure spite and bigotry. The latter is the most egregious offense of them all. I know there are many more of your group who provide balanced, fair evaluation of individual cases but there are a few bad apples in your group.
I am asking you to police your group. Otherwise, we will see an escalating war that neither group will win. The only winners will be the lawyers and the insurance companies. Do we really need to help these two anymore? Do they not make enough money already?
I do not know how many more of us there are compared to your group but my guess is it is substantial. My colleagues and I are tired of getting punched in the face by these members of your group who insist that every complication that one of our patients have or do not have is malpractice.
We are going to have to start fighting back. I am suggesting to my colleagues that they start compiling a list of those in their area who are in your group. Then when one of your patients presents to one of our offices, we are going to punch back and make it hurt. I am suggesting to my colleagues that they serve as expert witnesses against those who are unethical towards us. Unlike the cowards from your group in my own personal experiences, we will face your lawyers head-on in depositions and court. We will see the process through until this nonsense stops.
When an injustice occurs, ideally the two parties can sit down and discuss the circumstances. When one group is persecuted unfairly, there comes a time for that group to stand and fight. I am not sure there is ever a winner in any fight like this if both sides do not find common ground and establish fair and equitable means to resolve the conflict. I would ask those of you with a sense of the “Golden Rule” to start policing those unethical, immoral clinicians in your group.
For my colleagues, if you find yourself victim to this type of attack from a foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon in your area and need someone to provide some assistance, I am willing to help in any way I can. If you need someone to review your case, act as an expert on your behalf or just provide another point of view, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org .