If you go to see a physician, you assume that he or she is a professional, and there is nothing to worry about. However, would you still go see a physician if you knew that he or she were on probation? Would it make a difference if you consider his or her medical recommendations? Unfortunately, it is not always the doctor’s obligation to let patients know if he or she is on probation or has been – and doctors may not even tell you why they were in the first place.
A recent bill passed in California has stirred up the question countrywide. After all, shouldn’t you know if your physician has been disciplined by the state medical board?
Probation – What Does That Mean for a Doctor?
There are thousands of doctors being disciplined throughout the country by their state’s medical board for serious wrongdoing, but discovering which doctors are on probation isn’t easy. Consumer Reports actually found a list of California doctors on probation when the controversial bill was released. However, it isn’t as easy in all states, and certainly not for patients.
Doctors can be put on probation for numerous reasons – often, featuring dangerous or unprofessional behavior. Their offenses can include anything from practicing medicine while under the influence to sexual misconduct to allegations of such, etc. Others can be charged with negligence or even be sued for botched surgeries or causing a patient’s death. The reasons themselves are shocking – and when you do not know why a physician whom you are seeing is on probation, you can only wonder what horrific thing he or she has done.
It is important to realize that not all physicians have been grossly negligent. Minor errors could result in probationary action, too – such as failing to verify a patient’s history before prescribing a drug. So, just because a physician is on probation doesn’t necessarily mean that you are at risk for injury.
Don’t Assume That They’ll Tell You
Physicians aren’t required to disclose to patients that they are on probation. But, as a proactive patient who cares about your overall health, you can do your own due diligence and research new physicians before seeing them. DocInfo.org, which was established by the Federation of State Medical Boards, will tell you which physician has had action against him or her. But, it will be difficult to find out the reasons for those actions. So, you may find that a physician is on probation, but it is unlikely that you will see the reason why.
What to do if You Suspect Medical Negligence
Even if your physician is not on probation and never has been, if you have been injured, you need to contact the proper authorities. First, report the injury or conduct to the state medical board. Then, contact a medical malpractice attorney. An attorney can advise you of your rights, but also assess whether your claim will qualify for compensation under the law. To get started, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe. We are here to assist you with your medical injuries and hold physicians accountable for their actions. Contact us now at 877-678-3400 to request a consultation, or request your appointment online.