The headline in the NYTimes today about the failing pediatric cardiac surgery program at University of North Carolina reminded me of back in training when, as a lark, we would call the operator of the hospital and ask them to page the wards for “Dr. HODAD”……

It would be early evening…and over the pager system throughout the hospital we would chuckle as we heard….” Paging Dr. Hodad…Paging Dr. Hodad…..please call the operator’.

We were juvenile back then and we liked having a bit of fun given the crazy hours we kept. Dr. Hodad was no Hopkins surgeon….the name stood for Hands Of Death And Descruction.

Yes….there were surgeons who were considered a danger to their patients, and we would affectionately call them Dr. HODAD..……there still are around no doubt. Fortunately, they are few and far between, but self-policing among medical professionals is notoriously tricky.

That is why you depend on your primary doctor to help you find the best specialists and surgeons to treat your conditions. It is often less about going to the right doctor, as opposed to avoiding the wrong one. Fortunately, there are few of those, but you need to avoid them…and depend on us to help you avoid such an event. Just ask.