New York Medical Malpractice by Interns and Residents: Kingston Medical Malpractice Lawyer


Understanding Liability When Interns and Residents Commit New York Medical Malpractice: Kingston Medical Malpractice Lawyer Explains

July is when medical students turn magically into interns and residents, but without the experience and with the control of another person’s life.  This is sometimes known as the July Effect.  We were all students at one time.  Whether it was just in elementary school or high school, in trade school, college, or in professional school.  Maybe we have also learned a new sport or activity before too.  And when we did these things and learned, we likely made mistakes.  Probably multiple mistakes, and we still make mistakes.  Just how baseball players, even professional baseball players, still make errors in the field.  It is a fact of life, and it does not mean it is professional malpractice like New York medical malpractice.

And like all students and individuals starting a professional, medical doctors also start as interns and then residents.  This is where professionals jump into the trenches to learn their trade.  This means they can perform most tasks under supervision of a physician.  Sounds safe right?

Well sometimes that supervision is only for two critical parts of a surgery.  That means a resident could perform your entire procedure with only the full-pledged doctor being present for two critical parts, which could be incision and closure.  That isn’t too comforting, huh?

So what happens when an intern or resident makes a reckless, careless, or negligence medical error? 

Unlike a baseball player, or a student, or a painter, when an intern or resident makes an “error,” it is more than just the runner taking second base.  A person could die.  A person’s body could be permanently changed or injured.

Who is Liable for a Resident’s New York Medical Malpractice?

It may feel be horrible to sue an intern or resident who is learning his or her trade, but you will have to do it.  While most hospitals and teaching hospitals provide in their policies or guidelines that you cannot sue the student learning, you should let a New York Supreme Court Justice tell you that—not the other party or attorney.  You may need to commence an action against the following:

  • Intern;
  • Resident;
  • Supervising doctor;
  • Practice group or office;
  • Nursing team;
  • Medical tech team;
  • Hospital;
  • Teaching hospital;
  • Teaching hospital’s supervision doctor;
  • Anesthesiologist (even if just a mistake by a surgeon, the anesthesia team may also be liable); and
  • Many other entities.

The grounds for commencing against all of these parties is that a medical malpractice claim may need to be made to the employer or supervisor of the student, or the school.  This is through a principle of vicarious liability and respondeat superior, which means the master will be liable for the servant’s mistakes—and it is very important in New York medical malpractice claims.

Let a court tell you that you should not have sued the resident or intern.  The reason is, if you fail to commence an action now against them, the statute of limitations period is only two and a half years and you may forego your rights to bring a claim in the future if it is too late.

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  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at