The new president of the California Medical Association was expecting to spend New Year’s at a wedding in Las Vegas.
Instead, David Aizuss, MD, posted on Facebook about his “eye opening” first-hand view of “American medicine at its worst.” (The post is visible only to his Facebook friends and he declined MedPage Today‘s request to elaborate, citing ongoing “medical issues.”)
In his post, Aizuss said he was rushed by ambulance to a hospital Monday morning. “I spent hours in the emergency room where I received inadequate treatment of mind boggling pain, was never touched or examined by a physician, was mixed up with another patient and almost inadvertently transferred to another hospital, (and) was scheduled for emergency surgery based on a third patient’s lab work that was confused with mine,” he wrote.
He “finally signed out of the hospital against medical advice so I could obtain care from physicians that I know and trust.” He did not name the hospital.
Aizuss, an ophthalmologist who practices in Calabasas, northwest of Los Angeles, posted his complaint New Year’s Eve, apparently while at the LAX International airport in Los Angeles, where he said he was “just returning from Las Vegas where we were supposed to attend a wedding.”
Dozens of Facebook friends, several apparently also physicians, expressed their shock that the CMA president could receive such poor emergency room response, and some said they were happy he was speaking out about poor quality of hospital care.
“If you get terrible care like this (at least you know the difference) think about the care that Joe Sixpack gets; he doesn’t have the resources to get better care. This system is broken and we need to fix it,” posted one.
Wrote another, “As president of the CMA, your voice can be loud! Don’t be timid and do not be afraid of making enemies. Remember our patients know and respect us when we stand against poor medicine.”
Aizuss ended the post by saying, “Truly an eye-opening experience for the President of the California Medical Association. Happy New Year to all!”
He began his one-year term as CMA president in mid-October, saying he wanted to focus on physician burnout, practice sustainability, and payment. He is also past chairman of the CMA Board of Trustees.
He is a medical staff member at Tarzana Hospital and West Hills Hospital, in Los Angeles County, and serves as an assistant clinical professor of ophthalmology at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine.
The CMA represents about 43,000 physicians in the state and is the second largest organized medicine group of any state, next to the Texas Medical Association, which represents about 52,000 physicians.