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What is Medical Misconduct and How is It Different from Malpractice?

According to a survey of 68 medical boards across the U.S., 71 percent had conducted disciplinary proceedings, including formal hearings, concerning doctors who were charged with medical misconduct online. Common problems included inappropriate patient communication, such as sexual misconduct; use of the Internet for inappropriate practice, including Internet prescribing without an established real-life clinical relationship; and misrepresenting credentials.

These are only some of the ways that professional doctors may get themselves into trouble, and risk being written up for medical misconduct. Though somewhat similar to medical malpractice, misconduct does differ in some ways. Typically, patients who are victims of one or the other may take similar steps to resolve the issue, while some will have the option to file NY medical malpractice claims.

What is the difference between medical misconduct and malpractice?

Medical misconduct involves the failure to comply with the rules of conduct becoming a doctor. Violations may include things like fraudulently obtaining a medical license, or discrimination during the course of treatment. Other examples include:

  • Practicing with gross incompetence or negligence
  • Practicing while impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • Practicing beyond authorized scope/privileges
  • Filing a false report
  • Guaranteeing that a treatment will result in a cure
  • Refusing to provide services because of race, creed, color, or national origin
  • Performing services the patient didn’t authorize
  • Harassing or abusing the patient
  • Ordering excessive tests
  • Abandoning or neglecting a patient in need of immediate care

Medical malpractice can be very similar, though it tends to involve more a departure from good and accepted medical practice standards. Doctors may perform errors, fail to properly diagnose a condition, or fail to take the steps that normally would be taken in a certain case, resulting in an injury to the patient.

Examples of medical malpractice include:

  • Misreading or ignoring lab results
  • Surgical errors
  • Improper medication or dosage
  • Poor follow-up after care
  • Premature discharge
  • Failure to recognize symptoms
  • Failure to order proper testing
  • Disregarding or not taking appropriate patient history

Prior to filing NY medical malpractice claims

Regardless of whether you were the victim of medical misconduct or medical malpractice, you have rights. In New York, your first step in either situation is to file a written complaint against the physician, physician’s assistant, or other healthcare professional with the Office of Professional Medical Conduct, NYS Department of Health.

Once you’ve sent your complaint, the investigative and medical staff reviews it. If they find sufficient evidence to support your claim, they will present the case to an investigation committee. That committee can then choose to recommend a hearing, additional investigation, a dismissal of the matter, or non-disciplinary warnings or consultations.

Contacting a New York personal injury lawyer

In addition to filing a complaint, if you have been seriously injured as a result of medical misconduct or medical malpractice, you may want to speak with a New York personal injury lawyer. Particularly if your case involves permanent injury, additional medical care, additional therapy, and additional medications, you deserve to be compensated for these expenses, and for your pain and suffering.

A New York personal injury lawyer at The Sanders Firm will review the facts of your case and let you know if you may be eligible to file NY medical malpractice claims. If you have already filed a complaint with the Office of Professional Medical Conduct, their conclusions may also provide needed evidence for your case. Call us today for more information: 800-FAIR-PLAY.