Primary Care Malpractice in New York

Medical Malpractice Mistakes

Primary Care Physicians (also known as Family Practice or PCPs) are providers of health care that see patients for common medical problems.  These types of doctors are typically the first medical contact for a patient, due to easy communication, accessible locations, and familiarity.  Primary Care doctors will sometimes also remain the point of continuing care for patients, especially for management of chronic conditions.  But there can be primary care malpractice which can result in very serious personal injuries.

While the person is commonly a physician, the provider can also be a physician’s assistant or a nurse practitioner.  Regardless of who sees the patient, the medical provider has an obligation to provide medical services in accordance with accepted medical standards.

Medical providers of Primary Care generally see patients when a new medical condition arises.  They monitor patients who have already been diagnosed with a medical condition.  They also perform annual physical exams to monitor their patient’s health and screen for conditions they may not know they have.  What is considered appropriate care varies based on age, family history, patient history, medical test results and patient symptoms.  Should a Primary Care doctor fail to perform any of the aforesaid, they could face a medical malpractice claim.

Common Primary Care malpractice errors include the failure to:

  • Screen a patient appropriately,
  • Take a proper patient history,
  • Order appropriate tests such as diagnostic studies or lab work,
  • Screen for heart disease,
  • Screen for cancer,
  • Refer a patient to a specialist,
  • Prescribe a patient appropriate medications,
  • Monitor the effects of medications,
  • Perform complete annual physical examinations,
  • Inform a patient adequately,
  • Follow-up with a patient in a timely manner, and
  • Relay important medical information and/or test results timely.

The majority of malpractice claims in Primary Care result from misdiagnoses such as cancer, heart attack, meningitis, appendicitis, ectopic pregnancy, and fractures.  Other causes of malpractice claims include drug errors.  Drug errors can also be a consequence of missed diagnoses.

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