Accusations of medical negligence can harm doctors’ careers. If you’re facing one, you will likely fear the possibility of discipline. You may even worry that you will lose your medical license. Yet, before your case, you must understand what actions meet the threshold for medical negligence. And you must remember, too, that you have defenses when facing allegations against you.
Understanding medical negligence
To meet the threshold of medical negligence, your actions – or lack of action – must have breached your duty of care. This breach means you deviated from accepted medical standards that other practitioners would have followed. Furthermore, any errors you made must have injured your patient as well, without you intending to.
Some common examples of medical negligence include:
- Misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose a patient’s condition
- Ignoring or failing to recognize a patient’s symptoms
- Prescribing a patient an incorrect medication or dosage
- Performing an unnecessary surgery on a patient
- Making surgical errors
Defending your license
Medical negligence cases rarely lead to license revocations. But you could lose yours if your continued practice puts your patients and the public at risk. Yet, many patients forget that even practitioners can make mistakes. Thus, it is imperative to show that any actions you took were in good faith. And you must also demonstrate that you followed medical standards. Keeping thorough medical records may protect you in this case, so long as they show you followed accepted protocol or did not deviate far from it. Negligence cases often include the testimony of expert witnesses, too, and you will want to identify practitioners who can corroborate that you followed standard procedure.
Many practitioners retain their licenses after facing medical negligence lawsuits. But you will want to defend yourself to the best of your ability as a precaution. Consulting an attorney with licensure experience can help you understand what steps you must take to do so.