death The 13 Worst Doctors of All Time

Greg Stopera
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First, do no harm. Most doctors respect and obey this critical medical rule. They want to help, not hurt, their patients. But there are a few who seem to have missed this important message. They may look at their patients and see an opportunity to make money. Or they may see a chance to vent their rage. Or they may simply not care enough to be careful when taking care of people.

Whether it's breaching the bounds of professional safety to cater to an aging pop star (ahem, Dr. Conrad Murray), showing up drunk for an emergency room shift, being unable to diagnose something as basic as pregnancy, or wreaking havoc on your patients' genitals, there are doctors out there who you're better off steering clear of. Read on to learn about some of the worst doctors of all time: thirteen doctors who should be avoided, at all costs.

Who are the worst doctors of all time? Take a look and see who are the doctors to avoid.
University of Washington Surge... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 13 Worst Doctors of All Time
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University of Washington Surgeons


In 2001, the University of Washington admitted that surgeons at its hospital had left five surgical instruments in different patients over the course of five years. In fact, the hospital had just settled one case for leaving a 13-inch retractor in a patient when it discovered another 13-inch retractor had also been left behind in a patient. The hospital instituted new safety procedures, but this surgical department definitely has doctors you want to avoid: after all, mementos can be nice, but mementos that are forgotten in your stomach cavity should always be avoided.

Surgical Tools Left in Five Patients
Dr. Naum Ciomu is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 13 Worst Doctors of All Time
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Dr. Naum Ciomu


In Romania, Nelu Radonescu went to see Dr. Naum Ciomu for help with his testicular malformation. During the 2004 operation, Dr. Ciomu lost his temper, cut off Radonescu's penis, and then sliced it into three pieces. A plastic surgeon tried to save Radonescu's organ, but couldn't. Dr. Ciomu was only barred from practicing medicine for three years. He also had to pay Radonescu damages, including money for an operation try to reconstruct the penis from arm tissue. Shockingly, the doctor's union in Romania objected to the order to pay damages, stating that the precedent might lead doctors to refuse to perform operations. Given the outcome for poor Nelu Radonescu, maybe that's better.

Crimes Below the Belt
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Dr. Graeme Reeves


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The previous doctor believed he could surgically alter his patients to create sexually-supercharged women. Dr. Graeme Reeves went in the opposite direction. Carolyn DeWaegeneire went to see Dr. Reeves, an Australian gynecologist, to have him remove a possibly pre-cancerous lesion from her labia. During the operation, he leaned over and told her he was going to remove her clitoris too. He added that since the patient's husband was dead, it didn't matter if he removed it, which he proceeded to do. He was sentenced to two years in jail for inflicting grievous bodily harm. His victim believed the sentence was too light, asking what sentence the court would give "if a penis and scrotum had been cut off" instead.

Doctor Jailed for Mutilation
Dr. James C. Burt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 13 Worst Doctors of All Time
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Dr. James C. Burt


Some doctors show how horrible they can be in specific, isolated incidents. Dr. James C. Burt abused his patients for 22 years until the victims spoke out in 1988. Dr. Burt, a truly horrifying doctor in Ohio, spent years restructuring female patients' genitals, without their consent. He believed that women were "structurally inadequate for intercourse," a condition he thought his surgeries could fix, making his patients into "horny little mice." Instead of unleashing his patients' sexuality, he created sexual dysfunction, multiple kidney and bladder infections, and the need for corrective surgery.

Charges Against Doctor Bring Ire and Questions
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Dr. Yasser Awaad


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At least the previous doctor was probably just an idiot. Dr. Yasser Awaad, a pediatric neurologist in Detroit, stands accused of falsely diagnosing 255 patients with epilepsy in order to make money via insurance reimbursements. Like with Dr. Holton, patients had unnecessary drug regimes, but Dr. Awaad took things a step further and also performed unnecessary surgeries to implant devices for controlling seizures. Devices his patients didn't need since they didn't actually have epilepsy. So remember kids: get a second opinion before letting someone operate on your brain!

Misdiagnosed for Greed?
Lawsuit Claims Doctor Misdiagnosed for Cash
Doctors Who Can't Diagnose Pre... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The 13 Worst Doctors of All Time
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Doctors Who Can't Diagnose Pregnancy


For five months, her primary care physician assured Anita Arora that her periods had stopped because she was going through menopause. At 46 it was a possibility, but so was pregnancy--however, the doctor's office never thought to make sure with a pregnancy test. There was another chance for someone to see the baby when Arora had an ultrasound to check for gallstones, but again no one noticed. However, it was suggested that she might want to eat a healthier diet to get rid of all that weight she'd put on. The pregnancy was finally discovered when Arora insisted on a pregnancy test. Fortunately the baby was safely delivered, and by other doctors than the ones who hadn't noticed the pregnancy in the first place.

Doctor's Blunder Nearly Kills Baby
Dr. Andrew Holton is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The 13 Worst Doctors of All Time
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Dr. Andrew Holton


While working as a pediatric neurologist in England, Dr. Andrew Holton managed to misdiagnose 618 children with epilepsy, sentencing some of them to years on unnecessary drug regimes, which included side effects like black-outs and hazes. Many of the children simply had headaches or behavioral problems. If you wonder how Dr. Holton managed such a feat of misdiagnosis, it turns out he actually wasn't qualified to work in pediatric neurology.

Misdiagnosed Victims Paid Compensation
Dr. Prabir Kumar Ghosh is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The 13 Worst Doctors of All Time
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Dr. Prabir Kumar Ghosh


A doctor in India was arrested recently when he showed up drunk for his emergency room shift. It may not have been the first time he knocked back a few before turning up for work: local complaints said that he's been drunk on the job for years. Dr. Prabir Kumar Ghosh admitted he was intoxicated but said he had his reasons, one of which was that he was simply trying to relieve his joint pain. If only he could've gotten to a hospital for proper treatment, then this whole problem could've been avoided and... oh, wait. Never mind.

Drunk Doctor Suspended