Dr. Christopher Duntsch is back: Podcast exposes how he kept practicing after many complaints

Written by Laura Dyrda | September 11, 2018 | Print  |

Infamous former neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch, MD, has become the subject of a true crime podcast from Wondery called Dr. Death.

Before being found guilty of malpractice, Dr. Duntsch was a neurosurgeon in Dallas. He initially lost his medical license in 2013 after a complaint was filed against him related to his behavior; he was eventually indicted on five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of injury to an elderly person for his actions during surgery. Dr. Duntsch is currently serving a lifetime prison sentence for his behavior.

The podcast examines Dr. Duntsch's time in the operating room as well as how the healthcare system failed to prevent him from injuring patients, even after patients and colleagues raised concerns about his behavior. In one instance, a fellow surgeon stopped a procedure because he felt Dr. Duntsch was performing with "unacceptable" technique and multiple patients suffered nerve wounds during his operations. According to a New York Times article, more than six physicians and lawyers reported his mistakes to Houston-based Baylor Medical Center, where he worked.

However, when he left Baylor, the hospital procured a letter reporting a clean medical record. He spent a year practicing after leaving the hospital before a patient bled to death on the operating table.

The podcast is hosted by Laura Beil, a healthcare and science journalist who spent time as a medical reporter for the Dallas Morning News.

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