Q: Is this medical malpractice/negligence/ breaking a law? : I was referred to a bone specialist for ongoing wrist pain
from a fracture a year ago. Recent x-rays showed a positive ulnar variance. The specialist I was referred to told me that ulnar variance isn't the problem. When I questioned this opinion, he told me to do a follow up appointment with him and bring the x-rays from the original wrist fracture. During that second appointment he neglected to look at these x-rays/report, and he later wrote in the doctor's notes from that visit that he didn't have the x-rays/docs from the original break. I received verification from his office before the appointment that they DID receive these documents. Since that appointment, for the last 2 months, I've called the office over 30 times and sent about 30 emails, all with the simple request that he look at the x-ray from the original break that my pain originates from, and update his appointment note to accurately document that he HAS seen those xrays, and update his conclusion about what is causing the pain. The doctor has ignored every attempt to contact hm
A: If you are asking if you have grounds to pursue a Medical malpractice case, the answer is I don't know. The only way to determine if there is a claim to be made is by taking your records, and your facts over to a qualified specialist in the same filed of medicine, and have him or her answer the following two questions:
1. Was the care and treatment of this particular doctor (in this case an Orthopedist) BELOW THE STANDARD OF CARE, and if so HOW and WHY? and
2. If the care and treatment was below the STANDARD, was this substandard care a substantial factor in CAUSING some additional or future DAMAGE to the patient?
Without answering these two questions by a qualified expert specialist, there is nothing I or any other attorney could do. In the interim, if you are not seeking COMPENSATION, you can simply report your complaint regarding the treatment you are receiving to the California Medical Board.
A: Really sorry that you were treated this way by a person that is supposed to be a professional and to care for his patients. This is wrong. I cannot say whether it is medical malpractice either, but IMO your focus on whether you can sue this doctor is misplaced. You should be seeking relief for your medical condition first, and, again IMO, you aren't going to get it at this doctor, obviously. Even if there is service below the standard of care in the community, what are your damages? This doctor did not negligently perform surgery causing permanent injury, so I would think pretty minimal damages. But you should consult a Med Mal specialist in your area if you feel strongly about this. ALSO, the BMQA maintains a Patient Complaint system that you can access online and they take complaints seriously and investigate, particularly when you say 30+ calls unreturned. So, go to a better doctor, and consult with a med mal attorney to see if it is worth it. Remember you have to send a 90 day letter of intent to sue to the doctor per CCP 364.
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