So, how good is your surgeon’s record? It’s often the first
thing you check into when you find out that you need surgery. However,
state databases might not be giving you all the information you need to
make the right choice when it comes to your surgeon.
Why Is Your Doctor’s History So Important?
D.C., Maryland, and Virginia all have websites where you can look up a
doctor’s record to make sure you are going to see a reputable physician.
It’s one of these websites that a family from Montgomery County
went to when the patriarch of their family needed to have surgery on his
The surgery was routine, and though nobody thought anything would go wrong,
the man going under the knife had his suspicions. He believed he would
not leave the operating room alive, and he was right. The Montgomery County
man’s family took the surgeon to court for malpractice, and it was
there that they made a horrible discovery.
Are Medical Malpractice Cases Being Covered Up?
After settling their case, Maryland’s Board of Physicians took no
actions against the doctor, and this wasn’t the first time. A local
news network discovered that the doctor in question had six other malpractice
lawsuits against him. He won one of the cases, but the other five settled,
and the medical board took no disciplinary action.
Furthermore, the cases and their results did not show up on Maryland’s
public website that allows you to look at a doctor’s records. According
to Maryland law, the medical board can only reveal malpractice settlements
if the doctor has had three or more cases against them with payments of
over $150,000. Those cases must also have happened within the last five years.
D.C. and Virginia also do not post medical malpractice settlements on their
publicly available physician profiles. This means that the only way for
you to get a complete picture of your doctor’s run ins with medical
errors is to look them up in court filings. This will tell you if your
doctor has a history of practicing potentially bad medicine.
From the experienced medical malpractice attorneys
at Regan Zambri Long—we have first-hand medical experience
that helps us find and deal with medical errors.