There was an interesting article in yesterday's New York Times about "bad" doctors and the high incidence of medical errors in hospitals. Because the authors were two lawyers, the main focus of the article appeared to be that malpractice awards should be much larger. The authors stated that a 2013 study showed that only about one percent of all medical errors resulted in a claim. They also stated just six percent of doctors were responsible for 58% of malpractice awards, as shown in one study. They urged that hospitals need to do a better job of policing their doctors. I would argue that not only hospitals need to do a better job of weeding out the poor or inadequately trained physicians, but local and state medical boards need to be much better about taking licenses away from doctors who are harmful to patients.
I know far too many doctors who practice medicine for the monetary reward and the M.D. after their name. Even if an attempt is made to have a doctor's medical license removed, hospitals may back down with the threat of a lawsuit by the doctor's lawyers. Yes, this does happen. I know one case where a doctor was removed from a hospital staff because of his inadequate care of a critically ill patient. Yet it took the state medical board ten years to take away his license.
Even major medical schools don't always adequately police their physicians. As long as doctors bring in research money to the schools, their clinical care may not be monitored. I have seen this happen repeatedly. I think the problem of inadequate care is getting worse because medical students and house staff spend far too much time on computers and little time actually talking with and listening to patients.