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by Tom Harbin, 240 pp, $24.95, 212 3rd Avenue North, Suite 570, Minneapolis, MN 55401, Langdon Street Press (telephone: 952-345-4488), 2009, ISBN 978-1-934938-87-4.
Grading Key = outstanding; = excellent; = good; = fair; = poor
A single-authored commentary.
In the mid-1980s, the chairman of a prestigious academic ophthalmology department operated on the incorrect eye of a patient, setting into motion an investigation of charges of substandard care, alteration of medical records, and billing improprieties. The author recounts, through legal documents and personal interviews, the series of events that ultimately led to the chairman's resignation, the departure of several key department members, and several significant financial settlements. This disturbing story no doubt has parallels in other specialties and other institutions, with timeless lessons for multiple audiences.
The narrative is well-researched and well-written; it reads like a novel.
The legal analysis occasionally is overly detailed.
Both medical and lay readers.