Dr. Christopher Duntsch drilled random screws through the muscles of a woman's back. He left his best friend paralyzed and suicidal. At least two people died on their hands.
The man who reportedly told unconscious patients that he was the "best" spinal surgeon in Dallas, Texas, is serving a life sentence in prison.
And now, he is the subject of the new podcast Dr Death, which uses the amazing story of his atrocities as a vehicle to explore the first rule of the medical profession: do no harm.
But it did enormous damage to more than 30 patients and, most disturbing of all, the chilling details of the podcast about how difficult it is to keep Dr. Death out of the operating room, as long as he has his credentials.
Dr. Christopher Duntsch earned the nickname of Dr. Death after mutilating, paralyzing and injuring more than 30 patients, two of whom died in their operating rooms, as a new podcast.
Dr. Duntsch, as described by the peer journalist Laura Beil interviewed, was always a guy with something to prove.
He would stay up late after high school football practices, going through the exercises he had not received over and over again.
But once he was covered with the white coat and had the prefix & # 39; Dr & # 39; stuck to his name, Duntsch became difficult to question.
In the span of 18 months, he performed failed surgeries on dozens of patients. Two of them did not survive.
However, his patients had few ways of knowing who they would allow to open their body cavities and carve.
A recent survey found that 34 percent of patients rely on their own independent research to choose a health care provider.
But other recent research has shown that Americans have limited knowledge of nutrition, something they regularly encounter. It is difficult to imagine that most of us could distinguish the competent spinal surgeon from the negligent one.
Dr. Duntsch earned his medical degree as well as his doctorate from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, and arrived in Dallas with glowing recommendations from his professors and colleagues in the laboratories he led.
The patients were unaware of the reports that Duntsch stayed out all night at drug parties before putting on his white coat and heading to work, as one friend described during his 2015 test.
They also did not notice the erratic email that they sent in 2011, in which Dr. Duntsch mocked that he was comparable to a god, Einstein and the antichrist, all in one, and even described himself as about to Become a cold-blooded killer. .
The doctors and surgical nurses who saw Dr. Duntsch operate were appalled by his casual "technique," his volatility and his arrogant attitude toward the well-being of his patients.
So Mary Efurd saw no reason not to trust Dr. Duntsch to help her get rid of back pain, reports Beil. Efurd was one of the 24 percent of people who take a friend's advice about doctors.
He made a complete surgical plan and shared it with Efurd. It seemed solid, but as Dr. Robert Henderson discovered later, that was not the surgery that Dr. Duntsch finally performed.
On the day of Efurd's surgery, another of Dr. Duntsch's surgical patients was transferred to the intensive care unit there at the Dallas Medical Center.
Apparently unflappable, but possibly shot down by drugs, a surgical nurse tells Beil that Dr. Duntsch went ahead with the surgery and became aggravated when he was told that the hospital was not equipped to perform the craniotomy he wanted to use to relieve the pressure on the brain of Efurd. .
He placed a screw in the muscle of the back and left it on the table, with the spine and the extracted screw open and exposed, for 15 minutes.
Nothing about the surgery went well. He continued to criticize the surgical nurses, the X-ray technicians, and seemed to simply declare surgery at will, reports Beil.
When he awoke after the surgery, Efurd, whom Biel describes as "hard", suffered unbearable pain.
A former football player, patients were inclined to trust the young blue-eyed surgeon (right). But the fondness for all-night parties fueled by drugs and an ego-maniac streak soon became evident when Dr. Duntsch left the butchery of the patients following his surgeries (right)
Dr. Robert J Henderson was finally called. Until that moment, Dr. Duntsch had been the only spine surgeon in the hospital.
When Dr. Henderson began his repair surgery, he knew instantly that the Efurd case was negligent.
The screws, the rods and the holes of the failed attempts to place hardware covered his spine. The entire procedure was performed in the wrong place.
"Anyone with a minimal amount of training would have hesitated to move forward with the next step … or it could be an impostor," Dr. Henderson found himself worried.
Horrified by what she had seen, Dr. Henderson helped nullify Dr. Duntsch's privileges at Dallas Medical Center and Baylor Plano Medical Center.
But it would not be until 2013 that the state medical board took Dr. Duntsch away from his practice privileges.
Before losing the ability to work, Dr. Duntsch left a sponge in Jefferey Glidewell and damaged his esophagus. He told his best friend, Jerry Summers, that he would fix his football injuries, but left him paralyzed from the neck down.
Lee Passmore never walked without limping after Duntsch operated him. Two patients died after undergoing operations by Dr. Duntsch.
And Beil argues that some or all of that large amount of damage could have been avoided if the first principle of medical school: "do no harm" had a better support system after graduation.