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Dr. Death

Author: Wondery

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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.

14 Episodes
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Marty Markowitz had his share of problems. His parents had recently died. He had troubles at work. A failing relationship. He needed someone to help him through this rough patch in his life. So he decided to get some professional help from a psychiatrist. What he did not count on, was what happened in his life over the next twenty-nine years.This is a story about power, control, and turning to the wrong person for help. Listen now at wondery.fm/TSND
Breaking News | 10

Breaking News | 10

2018-12-1300:17:2754

The judges reviewing Christopher Duntsch’s appeal have reached a decision. On the day of the decision, Laura Beil goes to the Dallas District Attorney’s office to speak with prosecutors Michelle Shugart and Jaclyn Lambert about the judges' decision.To read Laura Beil’s article about the ruling, and a copy, go to Wondery.com/DrDeath.
“One Great Man”  | 9

“One Great Man” | 9

2018-11-1300:29:0973

You may remember the woman in the infomercial about Dr. Duntsch who admiringly calls him “one great man” and claims “he’ll fix you.” Laura Beil wasn’t able to get in touch with her when she first reported the series. She guessed that the woman must have been a paid actress, or perhaps even the rare patient who had a good result with Dr. Duntsch. But then the woman in the video reached out after hearing her voice in ”Dr. Death.” And the real story turned out to be much stranger. In this special episode, we also hear from a juror who helped deliver the verdict in the trial of Christopher Duntsch. Looking for the best sheets, ever? Get $20 off AND free shipping on your order by going to brooklinen.com and entering promo code death at checkout. Or maybe you're looking for plush towels? A new throw blanket? Yeah, they have that too.
Introducing Imagined Life

Introducing Imagined Life

2018-11-0500:04:3514

Throughout my reporting- there was a question that kept coming up: if I’d been in the shoes of the people around Christopher Duntsch- friends, family, mentors- what would I have done. That’s a question at the heart of a new series from Wondery, called Imagined Life. In each episode we’ll put you into someone else’s shoes. The people whose lives you’ll hear are famous- artists, musicians, politicians and others. And we’ll immerse you into their innermost thoughts as they experience adversity, hope, trial and error - but there’s a twist: it’s only in the last minute of the show you will find out who YOU are. Subscribe to Imagined Life today- www.wondery.fm/imaginedlife
On April 19th, 2017, news broke that football star turned accused murderer, Aaron Hernandez had killed himself in his jail cell. But what exactly had happened to Aaron Hernandez, to turn him into a killer? And did his football career play a part in it?From the Boston Globe’s award winning investigative journalism unit known as the Spotlight and Wondery comes an in depth investigation of the life, legal troubles, and death of Aaron Hernandez. Subscribe to Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez & Football Inc. today.
Interview | 8

Interview | 8

2018-10-0900:28:05100

This series has generated a lot of questions and comments from listeners for host and reporter Laura Beil. In this special interview episode, Laura talks with David Brown (from the podcast “Business Wars”) about a number of topics that have intrigued listeners, like how Duntsch could have performed less than a hundred surgeries during his medical training. She addresses speculation that Duntsch may have suffered traumatic brain injury from playing football in high school. And she teases the real story behind the “patient” featured in that Best Docs infomercial.Dr. Death is presented by Bad Times at the El Royale, in theaters October 12.Check out the trailer at elroyalemovie.comOther sponsors include:Zip Recruiter - Try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE at ziprecruiter.com/death Bombas - Save 20% by visiting bombas.com/death and entering the offer death in the checkout code spaceHelix Sleep - Get up to $125 off your mattress at helixsleep.com/death. Audible - Start a 30-day trial and get your first audiobook free by going to audible.com/death or by texting DEATH to500-500Brooklinen - Get $20 off AND free shipping by going to brooklinen.com and entering promo code deathSimplisafe - Visit simplisafe.com/doctor and start protecting your home today the right way
Update | 7

Update | 7

2018-10-0200:28:17144

Reporter Laura Beil has a few updates on the story of Christopher Duntsch since the series was first released. She attends an appeals hearing for Duntsch's case, discusses Baylor-Plano Hospital’s response -- and the mysterious case of the disappearing billboard.Subscribe to Business Wars hereDr. Death merchandise is now available! 15% of proceeds from each sale will go to the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica and their effort to spotlight wrongdoings in the healthcare industry. Shop tees, hoodies, & mugs at wondery.com/store.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Simplisafe - Visit simplisafe.com/doctor and start protecting your home today the right wayZip Recruiter - Try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE at ziprecruiter.com/death Bombas - Save 20% by visiting bombas.com/death and entering the offer death in the checkout code spaceHelix Sleep - Get up to $125 off your mattress at helixsleep.com/death. Audible - Start a 30-day trial and get your first audiobook free by going to audible.com/death or by texting DEATH to500-500Brooklinen - Get $20 off AND free shipping by going to brooklinen.com and entering promo code death
Closure | 6

Closure | 6

2018-09-2500:43:09272

Michelle Shughart has her work cut out for her, since no doctor has ever been prosecuted for crimes committed while practicing medicine. His patient’s lives would never be the same, but what would what would be the fate of Dr. Duntsch? The people in Dallas struggle to understand what drove him to do such horrible things. And what happens if the system faces another “Dr. Death.” Subscribe to Dr Death on Apple, Spotify, NPR One, Stitcher or sign up for email updates at wondery.com to stay up to date about future episodes.Please tell us what you think about our show and help us by answering a few questions at wondery.com/surveyHave a tip for us? Send us an email at tips@wondery.comSupport us by supporting our sponsors!Zip Recruiter - Try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE at ziprecruiter.com/death Bombas - Save 20% by visiting bombas.com/death and entering the offer death in the checkout code spaceHelix Sleep - Get up to $125 off your mattress at helixsleep.com/death. Audible - Start a 30-day trial and get your first audiobook free by going to audible.com/death or by texting DEATH to 500-500Brooklinen - Get $20 off AND free shipping by going to brooklinen.com and entering promo code deathSimplisafe - Visit simplisafe.com/doctor and start protecting your home today the right way
Free Fall | 5

Free Fall | 5

2018-09-1800:45:48284

Dr. Henderson and Dr. Kirby were screaming for anyone to listen who might help them get Dr. Duntsch to stop operating. Kirby wrote to the Texas Medical Board. He and Henderson went to the police. But no one was listening.Please tell us what you think about our show and help us by answering a few questions at wondery.com/surveyHave a burning question about Dr. Death? Host Laura Beil will be hosting an AMA on Reddit next Thursday, September 27th at 12pm CT / 1pm ET to discuss the making of the series and much more. To stay updated, follow us on Twitter. Subscribe to Dr Death on Apple, Spotify, NPR One, Stitcher or sign up for email updates at wondery.com to stay up to date about future episodes.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Zip Recruiter - Try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE at ziprecruiter.com/death Bombas - Save 20% by visiting bombas.com/death and entering the offer death in the checkout code spaceHelix Sleep - Get up to $125 off your mattress at helixsleep.com/death. Audible - Start a 30-day trial and get your first audiobook free by going to audible.com/death or by texting DEATH to 500-500Brooklinen - Get $20 off AND free shipping by going to brooklinen.com and entering promo code deathSimplisafe - Visit simplisafe.com/doctor and start protecting your home today the right way
Spineless | 4

Spineless | 4

2018-09-1100:42:45293

If a doctor is fired from a hospital, the hospital should report it immediately. That’s how problem doctors are prevented from getting hired elsewhere. But the places where Dr. Duntsch operated failed to report him to the proper authorities. If they had, maybe Duntsch’s path of destruction would have been stopped much sooner.Please tell us what you think about our show and help us by answering a few questions at wondery.com/surveySubscribe to Dr Death on Apple, Spotify, NPR One, Stitcher or sign up for email updates at wondery.com to stay up to date about future episodes.Support us by supporting our sponsors!Zip Recruiter - Try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE at ziprecruiter.com/death Bombas - Save 20% by visiting bombas.com/death and entering the offer death in the checkout code spaceHelix Sleep - Get up to $125 off your mattress at helixsleep.com/death. Audible - Start a 30-day trial and get your first audiobook free by going to audible.com/death or by texting DEATH to 500-500Brooklinen - Get $20 off AND free shipping by going to brooklinen.com and entering promo code deathSimplisafe - Visit simplisafe.com/doctor and start protecting your home today the right way
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Comments (281)

Obinna Nnanna

White privilege on fleek!!!!

May 17th
Reply

Gal Jaymee

he sounds so creepy!!! great documentary! i hope he gets punished by the inmates

May 11th
Reply

Jeff Shupe

Has this podcast just become ads for other podcasts? Looking forward to other Dr Death updates, not these other podcasts.

May 1st
Reply

Nicole

So many ads. Goodness.

Apr 28th
Reply

Ray

Nicole 😡

Apr 28th
Reply

Sasha Rouse

I know no Dr will touch my back no matter how some says. I hope Chris rotos in jail. let him work on the innate no more tax dollars

Apr 25th
Reply

Makenzy Sample

I listen to true crime podcasts all the time, but this was horrifying. Very difficult to listen to, but a wonderful podcast.

Apr 23rd
Reply

jason parde

This is such a good podcast. Very horrific story that needs to be made into a movie!

Apr 18th
Reply

Susan Schatte-Horne

As a retired Post Anesthesia Care Room ( recovery after surgery) nurse and a Texan living just north of Dallas, I have a couple of things: 1. I am mortified that these hospitals "passed the buck" leaving him free to injure/kill other patients, and 2. I want to reiterate that anyone needing surgery ask a nurse which surgeon they would choose for themselves or their family members for that type of surgery. They know. Also, I have an issue about his residency/fellowship program(s). Did they know about his incompetency? Did they just pass him through? I can't imagine that he suddenly became incompetent when he finished those programs. Did the cover-up, pass the buck activity start there? is that part of covering for Drs? Do these programs share culpability for his malpractice? Are these systems as problematic as the hospitals that "kicked the can" down the road? I would like to see more in depth investigation into this area.

Apr 13th
Reply

Erica Strand

This is maybe the best true crime series out there. I wish I could say it was the research or the story telling, but I think it’s the crime. This stuff is literally stomach churning and not because it’s graphic. It’s just terrifying. This guy’s psychology is one in billions. I’ve never seen anything like it and probably never will. It’s like he’s been taken over with some sort of parasite that requires florid medical malfeasance to survive.

Apr 12th
Reply

Tina Tova

Ahh Texas! I got screwed myself by medical care in Tyler! A spine hospital that herds people in like cattle ! Charles R. Gordon MD made up a fake procedure and nothing was fixed but I was charged for a microdiscectomy! His PR lady "Facebook page monitor" actually called me because I left a bad review and tried to expose him on social media,only to be told "Don't you EVER post negative feedback about Dr Gordon! I attempted to go the legal recourse on this one , only to be told it'll never happen in Texas!

Apr 7th
Reply

spooky_jim

Tina Tova yikes

Apr 25th
Reply

Morgan Scott, Jr

Major Complications Yeah Death seems like a Major Complication

Mar 29th
Reply

Morgan Scott, Jr

This shit is wild.

Mar 29th
Reply

Chris Tyler

this the first podcast that i listened to a second time because it is such an incredible story.

Mar 26th
Reply

No Comment

The failures of the system in Texas and Dr Deaths residency IMHO border on criminal. Each and every system that could of did something and didn't are culpable for the injuries caused. The residency program holds the most culpability because they passed him along. Less than 100 surgeries total. From what I understand that total is combined from residency throughout his private practice. This in an of its self is absolutely undeniably the single most aggregiss thing I have ever heard of.

Mar 24th
Reply

Dave O'Doherty

I wonder if any new episodes will appear here or am I just being strung along so they can advertise new crap...

Mar 21st
Reply

Mike Wang

OMG!They should be imprisoned.

Mar 19th
Reply

Joe

Just way to many interruptions and commercials.

Mar 19th
Reply

Ati Otieno

This was sooooo good! Intense but really really well done!

Mar 13th
Reply

Taylor Vernon

Not sure why, but wasn't a fan of this series

Mar 13th
Reply

Kawaii Biscuit Boi

OMG I GOT A COMMERCIAL FOR BACK PAIN XD

Mar 13th
Reply

Lisa Frena Bartanusz

Kawaii Biscuit Boi lol picking random listeners to make a podcast about.

Apr 24th
Reply
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