The term medical malpractice often makes people think of fast-paced environments, like emergency rooms, where errors could happen in a matter of seconds. Certainly, emergency rooms and urgent care facilities see their fair share of medical mistakes.
However, plenty of major medical malpractice occurs in the calmest possible medical settings. A visit to a physician’s office could easily lead to some kind of significant medical mistake. Those seeking routine care or evaluation for a specific set of symptoms could experience concerning mistakes by the doctor tasked with diagnosing and treating them. These are just two of the more common types of medical malpractice that could occur in a physician’s office.
1. Medication errors
Physicians are often the gatekeepers for prescription medication. They will recommend a drug for high blood pressure or specific medication to help someone with anxiety. Unfortunately, they may make significant mistakes in the process of recommending a medication for a patient.
One of the most common mistakes would involve improperly reviewing someone’s medical records. Failing to recognize that a drug will interact with an existing regimen of treatment is a common medical mistake. Doctors could also prescribe the wrong medication or recommend someone attendance to use the medication for an off-label purpose with a bad outcome.
2. Diagnostic mistakes
Even a physician that has treated the same person for years could make a mistake when trying to diagnose them. One of the most common issues would be the failure to diagnose.
Physicians in office settings don’t have much time to dedicate to individual patients. They may not listen fully to someone describing their symptoms or may reach a conclusion too early in the conversation. Failing to diagnose someone by ignoring their self-reported symptoms can be as damaging to someone’s health as reaching the wrong conclusion about the underlying cause of their symptoms.
When diagnostic errors, medication mistakes and other preventable oversights by a physician lead to a poor outcome for a patient, that patient may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Pursuing medical malpractice allegations can lead to compensation through malpractice insurance or possibly even through the civil courts.