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Ripped Apart: Medical Misdiagnosis And Malpractice

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When persistent pain invaded Gary Stern’s gut, doctors at two local hospitals focused on the digestive-tract disease he’d had a decade earlier. They didn’t listen to him insist this felt different, and they didn’t order a standard test to check for an ulcer. The misdiagnosis triggered a cascade of surgeries and suffering that took his life. David Black wrote the book Ripped Apart to tell the story. Gary’s wife Carol never left his side:

“Doctors need to realize it’s ok to make a mistake. But don’t cover it up. And that’s what they did with Gary. And that’s what ended up being his demise.”

And neurologist Dr. David Newman-Toker of the Johns Hopkins Center for Diagnostic Excellence tells how patients can guard against medical misdiagnosis.

Links: Ripped Apart book, Center for Diagnostic Excellence, Armstrong Institute for Patient Quality and Safety.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Melissa Gerr is a producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'