Learning About Medical Malpractice Before Treatment: A Nice Thought Or A New Way Of Thinking?


The majority of doctors who have been sanctioned for negligence in New York State are allowed to continue the practice of medicine.  However, patients of these doctors may not know of the sanctions.

Most doctors in New York do meet the performance standards of the state.  They have clean records when it comes to negligence.  However, when it comes to doctors cited for negligence, such as for ordering excessive tests or medical malpractice, it has been shown that there was not sufficient oversight and transparency.  Additionally, of the few doctors who were sanctioned for negligence and are still practicing, there are not any requirements that their patients be informed of their physician practicing under sanctions and/or limitations.

The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) has called for a new law which would ensure that patients who are visiting a doctor who has a limitation on their license be notified by the state.  Currently a doctor’s profile, licensure status and other details are available on a state website.  Patients can also call a hotline phone number that provides this information.  Lawmakers have been urged by NYPIRG to require information on how to access this information be provided to patients by health care facilities.

The Department of Health oversees physician issues.  They recognize that license revocation is not warranted in every instance.  Physicians can take action to correct their misconduct, including additional education, training, or having another physician monitor their practice.  If the state health department files charges against a doctor who has been negligent, the Board of Professional Medical Conduct then reviews the case to determine whether action will be taken.

NYPIRG has also suggested that lawmakers require competency assessment in periodic recertification of doctors.  Over time the skills of physicians may erode.  Therefore it is important that they keep current in the latest medical research and technological advances.  This type of assessment would help identify doctors who have skills that are eroding or are not knowledgeable in current practices before patients are harmed.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.