“What Can Patients Do In The Face Of Physician Conflict Of Interest?”


Surgeon James Rickert examines the growing financial conflicts of interest which affect physician decisions, and discusses how patients can try to protect themselves.

“Because of the necessary and comforting trust we bestow on our doctors, we typically do not view health care decisions as business transactions in any way and leave our natural skepticism and instincts as smart consumers at the doctor’s office door,” writes Rickert. “When a patient contemplates surgery or other unpleasant or dangerous treatments, even the most jaded and cynical among us wants to believe that his or her physician is thinking only of their best interest with absolutely no other motivations in play.”

However, after reviewing the evidence, Rickert comments, “When faced with data such as this, it is important that Americans realize the truth about medical care and throw away our comfort and complete trust. There are many actions that can be promoted to help patients avoid inappropriate care secondary to physician financial conflicts.”

What Can Patients Do In The Face Of Physician Conflict Of Interest? (Health Affairs Blog, April 10, 2015)


  1. “Finally, and perhaps most importantly, patients should vote with their feet; if consumers seek out doctors who refuse financial conflicts, this will quickly change physician attitudes toward these financial arrangements. This can only happen if we work to change our medical culture sufficiently so that patients feel free to speak with their physicians about this issue. Then both patients and doctors can enjoy relationships built on the mutual trust that makes the practice of medicine so rewarding to professionals and comforting and safe for our patients.”

    Perhaps these financial arrangements should be made illegal?

    And it appears a great deal, if not almost all, of psychiatric treatment is based solely upon the financial motivations of the psychiatrists and other doctors. Since, none of the so called “mental illnesses” have any scientific validity and the psychiatric drugs are proving to be ineffective, debilitating, and toxic to many or most of the patients, especially in the long run.

    And I’m a poster child for this problem, as are many of us here. My PCP was paranoid of a nonexistent malpractice suit because, unbeknownst to me at the time, her husband had been the “attending physician” at a “bad fix” on a broken bone of mine. So she put me on psychotropic drugs, while lying to me, claiming they were “safe … meds.” The doctor then denied the adverse drug effects were from the drugs, so I went outside my insurance for a second opinion. But the second opinion denied the drugs could be the problem, too. And then I was shipped to a psychiatrist, who misdiagnosed me, claiming the common ADRs of a NSAI and symptoms of antidepressant discontinuation syndrome were “bipolar.” And then the psychiatrist had to try and convince me that I was actually bipolar, and did this by creating psychosis with massive neuroleptic tranquilization:

    “neuroleptics … may result in … the anticholinergic intoxication syndrome … Central symptoms may include memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, hallucinations, psychosis, delirium, hyperactivity, twitching or jerking movements, stereotypy, and seizures.”

    Finally, I was taken off the NSAI, and then weaned off the majority of the psychiatrist’s drugs, but the psychiatrist still never conceded that the drugs were the problem in the first place. Finally some decent nurses handed over my medical records, and told me to find a new doctor, because they became disgusted at the doctors who egregiously poisoned me for financial reasons. One was kind enough to follow my family to our next two doctors, and tried to help protect my children and I.

    I read my family’s medical records and realized I had been handed over the medical evidence of the abuse of my child, and that I’d been misdiagnosed based upon lies from the alleged child molesters. So I found all new doctors. The first wanted nothing to do with the iatrogenic mess, so I switched insurance groups and went to another doctor. This time not handing over the medical records, because I realized that’d be the only way I could keep a family physician.

    Then I suffered from a possible drug withdrawal induced super sensitivity manic psychosis / sleep walking talking problem one night. Resulting in my being dragged out of my own bed in the middle of the night by five paramedics, while the sixth one told the other five that what they’re doing was illegal, since I’d agreed to just go back to sleep and was not a danger to myself or anyone else – except, apparently, doctors who were paranoid of nonexistent malpractice suits. The paramedics took me to the hospital anyway.

    And, thanks to the HIPPA aided White Wall of Silence, I was medically unnecessarily put on a hypnotic drug and shipped a long distance to Dr. V R Kuchipudi. Whose now been arrested by the FBI for having lots of patients medically unnecessarily shipped to him, “snowing” patients, and performing unneeded tracheotomies for profit.

    Yes, financial motives / greed are a problem within today’s medical community. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I’ve been told what happened to me is considered “appropriate medical care” in the USA today. I’m quite certain the medical community needs to rethink their appalling greed inspired behavior instead. And perhaps we actually need laws to help protect patients, since some within the American medical community have less than zero ethics and have apparently lost their minds due to their greed and unchecked power?

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  2. As long as corruption by the pharmaceutical industry of doctors is legal it will persist. Perhaps a searchable database of each doctor should be made publicly available listing each of the doctors pharmaceutical sponsors with each product of that sponsor. This data can help consumers decide if their physician is a real doctor or just a sales representative.

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  3. Unfortunately paranoia and mistrust needs to be a new normal if one wants to survive or even more – benefit from the medical treatment. Always research everything they tell you and if you see that the person does not listen and respect you – run.

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