A new podcast from Wondery Media, Dr. Death, puts a spotlight on the deadly Dallas Neurosurgeon, Christopher Duntsch. As one of the lawyers involved in these cases against Dr. Duntsch, I represented more than a dozen of the victims. I was interviewed extensively for the Dr. Death podcast and appear in several of the episodes.
The Dr. Death podcast is reported and hosted by Laura Beil, an award winning medical journalist.
Here is the summary of what you can expect to hear on the Dr. Death podcast, which is currently available on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify:
We’re at our most vulnerable when we go to our doctors. We trust the person at the other end of that scalpel. We trust the hospital. We trust the system. Christopher Duntsch was a neurosurgeon who radiated confidence. He claimed he was the best in Dallas. If you had back pain, and had tried everything else, Dr. Duntsch could give you the spine surgery that would take your pain away. But soon his patients started to experience complications, and the system failed to protect them. Which begs the question: who – or what – is that system meant to protect? From Wondery, the network behind the hit podcast Dirty John, DR. DEATH is a story about a charming surgeon, 33 patients and a spineless system. Reported and hosted by Laura Beil.tells the story about
As I have always said and believed, most doctors are good doctors — and good people. But the system for how we identify, report, and stop bad doctors is failing patients. The tragedy of the Christopher Duntsch story is that so many patients were harmed before he could be stopped. This is just incomprehensible and unacceptable.
Although the good doctors and lawyers like myself fought hard, there were still so many patients whose lives changed forever. And some whose lives ended.
If the system designed to protect patients worked as it should, there wouldn’t have been a situation where a licensed surgeon repeatedly and knowingly injured or killed his patients without being properly reported and stopped.
But that is exactly what happened.
In the words of the one doctor who spoke for the defense at Dr. Duntsch’s criminal trial, “…we have a systemic problem which sets up an environment for turning out dangerous doctors.” You can read more about the fate of Christopher Duntsch here: The Making and Breaking of Dr. “Christopher Duntsch” (Dr. Death)
The Dr. Death podcast puts a spotlight on how the system failed and what went wrong. It is well done, thorough, and I believe many people will become more aware as a result.
Most of us will be patients too and will require surgery in our lifetimes. I urge you to listen to the Dr. Death podcast so that you can learn more about how the system is broken and what the risks are.
I will continue to advocate for patient safety and do my part in fighting for the rights of patients.