Dr. Death | S1: Dr. Dunstch


Listen to Dr. Death Seasons 2 and 3 on Amazon Music.

We’re at our most vulnerable when we go to our doctors. We trust the person at the other end of that scalpel. We trust the hospital. We trust the system.

Christopher Duntsch was a neurosurgeon who radiated confidence. He claimed he was the best in Dallas. If you had back pain, and had tried everything else, Dr. Duntsch could give you the spine surgery that would take your pain away.

But soon his patients started to experience complications, and the system failed to protect them. Which begs the question: who - or what - is that system meant to protect?

From Wondery, the network behind the hit podcast Dirty John, DR. DEATH is a story about a charming surgeon, 33 patients and a spineless system. Reported and hosted by Laura Beil.

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Our Editor's Take

There's a magic pairing of words every patient who suffers from chronic pain hopes to hear. And, unfortunately, it's a phrase they don't hear as often as they'd like-"I can fix you." Dr. Death is a podcast about what happens when those words are a lie. A prestigious Dallas neurosurgeon told over 30 patients that he could fix them. They clamored for the opportunity to undergo his innovative operation. After all, he said he could change their lives. These patients would come to regret their decision.

Dr. Death is the story of Dr. Christopher Duntsch. He promised vulnerable and desperate patients the back-pain relief they desired. But the miracle surgery he offered was too good to be true. Complications began to pile up, and then the truth came out. Dr. Duntsch's surgery was no miracle. It was deadly.

Reporter Laura Beil tells how such a dangerous man slipped through the cracks of the medical system. She interviews his former colleagues who tried to stop him but failed. She also speaks with some of Dr. Duntsch's patients. Dr. Death shows what happens when vulnerable people put their trust in a system that never looked out for them in the first place.

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