A letter suggesting I have insulted the medical staff of Alameda Hospital has been circulated.
I have always tried to carefully couch my issues with Alameda Hospital in terms of outcomes. I have pointed to numerous studies published in this country’s most prestigious medical journals that support my statements. (I have not included data that supports the relationship between volume and outcome that are not relevant such as surgical data for procedures not performed at the Hospital.) I believe in the absence of evidence to the contrary, my statements are entirely appropriate. I have asked, begged, and pleaded for evidence that contradicts these major studies. I have been careful to not overstate the data which does not identify the specific cause of these differences in outcomes nor to disparage the doctors, nurses or other care providers at the Hospital (with the exception of suggesting that they are not exceptional relative to the clinicians at other East Bay Hospitals which I believe is a totally uncontroversial remark). If someone wants to be insulted by me quoting these studies or saying that Alameda Hospital physicians are likely not better than the medical staff at nearby hospitals , then the best I can do is to be totally silent or dishonest which does not suit me.
If someone wants to engage in the debate and present additional evidence that contradicts what I have said, I am totally open to that discussion and have even offered to purchase coffee for any reasonable person who wants to have that discussion. I’ll up the ante to a meal, but come prepared to defend your position.