Doctors who commit medical errors in one state may continue to practice in another

Doctors who commit medical errors in one state may continue to practice in another

In choosing a doctor to help deliver your child, many people will conduct basic research to determine their obstetrician/gynecologists qualifications. Conducting research and determining whether your doctor has been fined or suspended in another state is crucial.  Many patients don’t realize that doctors who have lost their license in one state, or found guilty/liable in a medical malpractice action, may still continue to practice.  Often, violations reported in one state are not reported in another, thus leaving patients in the dark concerning the real background of the doctor to whom they’re entrusting their care.

For example, a recent article enumerated several examples of doctors committing serious medical mistakes in one state, surrendering their licenses when challenged, then moving to California to continue practicing.  One instance involved a wrong site surgery, and another involved the wrongful death of two patients who were operated on by an unqualified doctor.  In both situations, the doctor simply moved states and continued practicing.  In fact, the system allows doctors to voluntarily surrender their license and move to another state with no restrictions. Because no national database exists of “bad doctors” these doctors can go on to make costly medical errors in another state.  In fact, a significant percentage of medical malpractice actions are committed by the same doctors.  Further complicating matters, settlements made in medical malpractice and birth injury lawsuits often remain confidential, making it nearly impossible for the public to discover the truth about their doctor.

For families searching for a doctor, however, the best option remains to conduct research, both of the doctor and of the facility where you plan to deliver.  Talk to colleagues and friends to obtain personal recommendations. 

For more information or if you believe you or your child has been harmed by a physician, please contact the experienced California birth injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.


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