Name: Laura Beil
Specialty: Medicine and Science Journalist
Location: Dallas, TX
Today we have award winning science journalist, Laura Beil with us. Her investigative podcast series on the notorious former neurosurgeon, Christopher Duntsch is what brings her here today. Since its release last month, “Dr. Death,” as it is called is now one of top 5 ranked podcasts in the country. You’ve probably heard about this story but just a quick recap before we get started:
In 2011, neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch began his first practice in Dallas, TX. Through the next two years, he operated on 37 patients. Of those 37, 33 suffered severe injuries and complications. Several were left permanently paralyzed, and two left dead from what all should have been fairly routine, elective procedures.
It’s an appalling story, later described by a surgeon (testifying at Duntsch’s trial) as a “complete and utter failure of the entire system of checks and balances for patient safety.” A failure that likely would have continued were it not for the heroic efforts of other doctors in the Dallas community who battled to stop him.
This episode covers a lot of ground in a short time, including followup information that has come to light since the podcast’s release. There’s nothing enjoyable about this story. But it’s also too important to ignore. With that said, let’s get started…