Guest, Thomas Harbin

Guest Name: 
Thomas Harbin
Thomas S. Harbin, M.D., Author, Medical Practices Researcher, Opthalmologist and Clinical Professor
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Guest Occupation: 
Author, Medical Practices Researcher, Opthalmologist, Clinical Professor
Guest Biography: 

Tom Harbin MD received his medical degree from Cornell Medical School, trained in ophthalmology at the Wilmer Institute of Johns Hopkins and has been practicing ophthalmology, with a specialty in glaucoma, for over thirty years. In his book, WAKING UP BLIND: Lawsuits Over Eye Surgery, Dr. Harbin exposes a breach of trust that took place in an area where least expected and at a well-respected medical center in Atlanta. This story sheds light on the game of big business where the bottom dollar became more important than human life.

In the early 80's, physicians began to notice problems with the gifted and powerful chairman of Emory University's Department of Ophthalmology. His patients complained of long waits and hurried exams, his bills to Medicare and other insurance carriers became suspect, and tissue removed from patients' eyes showed no sign of the disease that had been diagnosed. Because the chairman was increasing the university's prestige and profits, the university leaders paid little heed to the growing concerns of the other professors and fellows. After the chairman operated on the wrong eye of a patient, who eventually went blind from an easily detected and treatable problem, a departmental committee began an investigation and found other examples of patients' eyes harmed by neglect, improper billing and many other problems. Lawsuits and complaints by two faculty whistleblowers prompted another investigation, this time by the medical school's ethics committee, but the chairman was exonerated and the whistleblowers were reprimanded. Only after a national specialty society ethics investigation and more lawsuits was the chairman forced to resign.

Dr. Harbin provides the authoritative account backed by court documents, official transcripts, letters and personal interviews, in exposing this story.

Few people have the moral courage to speak out against misconducts performed by their superiors who have administrative and financial power over them; and when institutions financially benefit by suppressing corrective action, it takes individuals with superhuman courage to take a stand. These individuals, known as whistleblowers, must deal with the repercussions of these actions. Harbin exposes a problem that occurs not only in universities, but also in corporations, governments, churches, and every kind of organization. This book is a wake-up call to remind us that the people we look up to may not always be looking out for our best interests.

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Dr. Harbin is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist specializing in glaucoma and related diseases. His undergraduate degree is from Vanderbilt University and his medical school degree is from Cornell University. He completed residency training at the Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins and his fellowship training at Washington University. Dr. Harbin joined Eye Consultants of Atlanta in 1975 and practices at the Cumberland location.

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Imagine trusting a doctor – with the best reputation for treating eye disease in the state – to do surgery on your eyes.  Now imagine the worst of outcomes.  Blindness in an eye that you learn, in fact, never needed surgery.  And the medical center where you were treated is ignoring the problem. Waking Up Blind is a story of how an eye surgeon – respected and admired – became the cause of an array of medical problems for his patients. Waking Up Blind is a story of how one of the nation’s premiere medical centers tried to conceal the growing medical scandal.

Author of Waking up Blind, Dr. Tom Harbin, exposes the lawsuits that tell the story of this medical scandal from the very beginning.  Using court documents, tape recorded conversations, interviews and personal observation:  Dr. Tom Harbin will unveil an inside view of the medical world that will shock the reader with its candid exploration of the dark side of medicine.

You're a doctor and you know a lot about medicine. But do you know a lot about the real world? Doctors learn a lot in medical school, but not enough. Only rarely will a course teach practical, useful, or pragmatic information to help with the myriad decisions that arise in day-to-day life. Dr. Harbin wrote The Student Doctor Network What Every Doctor Should Know... But Was Never Taught in Medical School to fill the gap: to help doctors deal with the business aspects of medicine, help doctors in training learn how to evaluate opportunities for the future, and assist practicing doctors in dealing with the questions arising day-to-day and when planning for the future.

Dr. Tom Harbin received his MD from Cornell Medical and trained in ophthalmology at the Wilmer Institute of Johns Hopkins.  He has been practicing ophthalmology with a specialty in glaucoma for over thirty years and is a Clinical Professor Emeritus at Emory University. Dr. Harbin resides with his wife in Atlanta, GA.

Waking Up Blind: Lawsuits Over Eye Surgery is his first book and is on the Amazon.com's Bestseller List. Dr. Harbin's second book is The Student Doctor Network What Every Doctor Should Know... But Was Never Taught in Medical School. Both books are hot sellers and are climbing the sales charts on Amazon!

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