[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
March 11, 1983

Examine Your Doctor: A Patient's Guide to Avoiding Medical Mishaps

JAMA. 1983;249(10):1363. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330340083045

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


After I examined Examine Your Doctor, I gave it a failing grade.

In the provision of health care to 250 million persons, there are going to be some slipups, some abuses, some iatrogenic deaths. The problem with Kra's sophomoric analysis is that he leads readers to conclude that malpractice is so rampant, so out of control, that society perceives only the tip of an iceberg. This is not the case.

The introductory chapter explains malpractice from the vantage point of the insurance industry, but in the simplification, the basics are lost. While he discusses informed consent, Kra neglects the foundation of the physician-patient relationship in a legal sense, and no mention is made of "the standard of care." This concept, the standard of care, is the yardstick by which all medical negligence actions are measured.

There is no discussion of the duty, the breach of the duty, or the derivation