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William Heisel's Antidote: Investigating Untold Health Stories

Hospitals Leave National Practitioner Data Bank Dangerously Short on Data

Public Citizen put together an important report in May that was mostly missed by the press (including me).

It's a comprehensive and critical investigation of The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), created by the Health Care Quality Improvement Act 19 years ago, ostensibly to protect patients from rogue doctors.

Doctors Behaving Badly: Dr. Alexander Kalk

To be generous, we could say that Dr. Alexander Kalk of Creve Coeur, Mo. was a workaholic.

He literally lived in his medical office, according to the medical board in Missouri, and was so busy, apparently, that he did not have time to change his clothes or take a shower.

Walking around in the same clothes day after day might make a guy irritable. So perhaps it's understandable that he took to berating his employees and sending threatening messages to a medical billing company.

California nursing board firings, resignations follow LAT/ProPublica investigation

Often following a major journalistic investigation a governor or a senator or a president even will call for hearings or declare the creation of a blue ribbon panel to assess the situation and decide how to proceed.

Years can go by before a report, usually thick with euphemism and buck passing, lands on someone's desk, often a different governor or senator or president than the one who called for the assessment. Processes are "streamlined." Efficiencies are realized. Nothing really changes.

When Caregivers Harm: Learning from the ProPublica-Los Angeles Times Nurse Investigation

By the time you read about the case of 9-year-old Caitlin Greenwell, unable to talk because her brain was starved of oxygen during a botched birth, you are convinced: the oversight of nurses in California is abysmal.

Her story is deep inside "When Caregivers Harm," an investigative collaboration between ProPublica and the Los Angeles Times published Sunday.

Q&A with Andrew Schneider Part 1: What to do when the big story finds you

Andrew Schneider is one of the country's most accomplished investigative journalists. His work has won not just one, but two Pulitzer Prizes, and countless other awards. I had the privilege of meeting him when both of us were finalists for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting at Harvard. My team lost. So did his.

Michael Jackson’s heart doctor isn’t the only one lacking papers

If you, like me, were wondering how a guy like Dr. Conrad Murray, who had not bothered
keeping up with his studies enough to continue his certification as a cardiologist, could become the personal physician to the King of Pop, it's instructive to look at Dr. Jagat Narula.

Most of you won't know that name, but his career illuminates the gap between what the public expects when they see "Dr." in front of a person's name and what is often the reality.

Doctors Behaving Badly: Dr. Gregory Burnham Camp

Think about what it takes to obtain a medical license. Some states' licensing boards will rubber stamp a license from another state but others, like California's, require a lot of hoops.

Then consider the case of Dr. Gregory Burnham Camp, who had licenses in California (No. 34329), Ohio (35-028433), North Carolina (36156) and Massachusetts. Why so many states?

When going nuclear, don't misunderestimate misadministration

Misadministration. When a physician has made a horrible mistake with wide-ranging ramifications, the terms "negligence," "malpractice" even "incompetence" might come to mind. Now this wonderful euphemism glides onto the scene, draping the wreckage in a filigree of blamelessness, warding off trial lawyers and investigative journalists.

Wrong doctor or wrong patient? Michael Jackson's physician has some explaining to do

Within hours of the news breaking about Michael Jackson's death, attention started to turn toward one of the only eyewitnesses to the event: his personal physician.

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