Medical and surgical errors are very common in the hospital setting. They increase  malpractice lawsuits, the cost of medical care, patients’ hospital stays, and morbidity and mortality. As an infectious diseases specialist for over forty years, I was not aware how common these errors are until I became a patient myself after being diagnosed with hypopharyngeal carcinoma. My initial cancer was successfully removed, but a local recurrence occurred twenty months ...

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Choosing the best treatment for cancer may be challenging and difficult. Patients should be well informed before making their choice. Communication between the patient and family and their medical team including their physician is very important. The medical team should describe the available treatment choices to the patient and the expected results of each of them as well as their possible side effects. Patients should carefully consider the available options and ...

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I am a physician who was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent laryngectomy four years ago. Prior to being diagnosed and treated for cancer I did not welcome or encourage my patients’ participation in their own care. Admittedly, there were instances when such input was helpful, but more often I regarded patients with data based on information obtained from the Web as a challenge to my expertise and authority.   I ...

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I was at the Walter Reed National Medical Center where I get medical care as a retired naval officer, and decided to use my time between medical appointments to get a much needed haircut. I walked into the barber shop, took a number, and sat down to await my turn. The three chairs were occupied by young men getting haircuts. Their chests and lower bodies were covered with long blue aprons to protect them from the ...

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As an infectious diseases physician with a special interest in head and neck infections, I had extensive experience in otolaryngological illnesses. However, when I was exposed to new, different, and challenging experiences as a neck cancer patient, I had to deal with these as a patient --- not as a physician. I endured the consequences of radiation, repeated surgeries, and prolonged hospitalizations. I confronted medical errors in my care, discrimination ...

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