Term Paper: Peer Review Confidential

Pages: 5 (1420 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Why Doctors Don't Like Peer Review

There are several reasons why doctor's themselves, despite the protections they are offered, do not appreciate peer reviews and their problems that are associated with them. While confidential information may keep the lawyers away, the main threat to a doctor's professional development man indeed come from the peer review committee itself. Human nature dominates how we make our decisions and significantly affect our behavior, within the peer review setting, a useful opportunity is presented to those doctors, with little ethical substance, may take advantage of their peers and use this information in other ways. The process itself is not really about learning, but rather about assigning blame. This approach immediately puts people on the defensive, and it should be expected that distorted information and false signals will be displayed to help in that protection effort.

The demands of the public, now thanks to technology and the ability to rapidly communicate with almost anyone has also pushed doctors away from accepting the true benefits of peer review committees. Confidentiality cannot really be guaranteed in any form, in any way in today's society without great effort. There is a camera everywhere and many if not all of a doctor's professional actions are recorded somewhere in some form.

Lamki (2009) explained how, as doctors, the responsibility to the public and the responsibility to themselves often clash and that the peer review process, could have positive meaning if they information was not held as confidential. He wrote "The public is now connected to the internet where general education and knowledge are freely available. The public is now connected to the internet where general education and knowledge are freely available. The public also notes that industry, especially larger organizations such as oil companies, now insists upon peer review among employees. Some boards of education and high-quality private education organizations have recently instigated peer review among their staff. Why don't medical schools and medical organizations and institutions follow suit? Law makers, prosecutors and defense lawyers are all aware of the various laws passed in several countries such as the "Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986." 9 Thus lawyers have become more demanding and so has the public. The demands will likely become unreasonable and society that had previously granted us its trust may suddenly become alienated from us. "

Fixing the Problem

Confidentiality is important in the medical profession, but not necessarily for the patient. In a more balanced and rational system, the patient appears the one who needs protection and not the doctors. Society has been conditioned in a way to believe that doctors are a higher class of people who have endured many struggles to earn their place as a professional. This promotion of a new priest class that is protected by the law sets a dangerous and reckless example. Since medicine has great potential to both heal and destroy, a more honest and open discussion about its practice needs to be included in today's world, especially as the government continues to infringe on this practice as it collectivizes and subsidizes much of the industry.

It is quite simple in reasonable terms: those who have done nothing wrong should not fear the truth, but those who are threatened must take action to protect themselves. There is plenty of blame to go around in this situation, however when a system is built on distrust and information is purposely hidden to mask errors, this system puts itself at great risk for failure and confusion.


Boyd, E.A. (1998). Bureaucratic authority in the" company of equals": The interactional management of medical peer review. American Sociological Review, 200-224.

Gallegos, A. (2012). Challenges to Peer Review Confidentiality Rising. American medical News, 28 May 2012. Retrieved from http://www.amednews.com/article/20120528/profession/305289939/2/

Huntoon, L. (2011). Sham Peer Review: A National Epidemic. Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, 24 Mar 2011. Retrieved from http://www.aapsonline.org/index.php/article/sham_peer_review_resources_physicians/

Lamki, L. (2009). Peer Review of Physicians Performance. Sultan Qaboos Univeristy Medical Journal, Au 2009. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3074768/

Reed, R.R., & Evans, D. (1987). The deprofessionalization of medicine: causes, effects, and responses. JAMA, 258(22), 3279-3282. [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Peer Review Confidential."  Essaytown.com.  August 24, 2014.  Accessed June 24, 2019.