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How much does Duke's Dr Alison Toth know about orthopedics?

Posted Dec 04 2010 10:41pm
I thought I knew orthopedic pain until osteomyelitis (bone infection) and the botched surgery by Duke’s Michael Bolognesi and Dr Jonathan Riboh.  

The longer I lay in bed, in pain and becoming weaker from muscle atrophy, I think about Dr. Alison Toth and the fact that she could have/should have taken the hardware out of my left leg in mid-2008.   But, it is unfair to "blame" people if they are simple (for lack of a better word) ignorant.  

Dr Alison Toth is a medical physician and probably very smart.  I mean, you have to be smart to get through med school.  Right?

And, Alison Toth, MD is the director of Duke Women's Sports Medicine Program, and an Assistant Professor of Surgery (Orthopaedics).  

Wow.  Those credentials are both impressive (if Alison is your daughter or your personal friend.)

But the credentials are actually not so impressive when overshadowed by the lack of compassion and the apparent poor clinical skills.  In fact, the clinical skills of Alison Toth, MD can be downright scary if you are:

               An orthopedic patient at Duke Medical, or
               A female student athlete at Duke

Dr Mark Easley (Duke Orthopedics) placed the hardware in December 2004 but apparently was unaffected by my inability to function with the constant pain. 

Dr Mark Easley requested that Dr Alison Toth take over my case because a female orthopedic surgeon would understand the female anatomy better.  What?  Really? 

Dr Alison Toth did not understand that HTO hardware in a leg is absolutely unnecessary when the tibia is healed.

If Dr Alison Toth really knew anything about female anatomy then she would have removed the hardware in my leg in 2008. 

But the one thing that most Duke Medical physicians and surgeons do not understand is that – good physicians should actually want to alleviate pain and suffering.

If Dr Easley or Dr Toth had understood that the hardware was unnecessary and potentially creating an infection in my tibia, then they may or may not have removed the hardware.  Knowledge is not the same as practicing good medicine.

But if Dr Easley or Dr Toth had the knowledge and practiced good medicine then perhaps:

1.          I could have taken better care of my dad the last 1.5 years of his life;   and
2.          I might not be at risk of dying today.

When is the last time I thanked Dr Easley, Dr Toth, Dr Bolognesi and Dr Riboh for (as my dad Robert Handy sarcastically thanked Dr Veshana Ramiah after she insulted him) “showing me what type of doctors they are.”

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