Basketsball52

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I have a question that I'm unable to find discussed on this website.

If as a medical student, I file a medical malpractice suit against my physician, could that affect my future career?

I'm wondering if it's likely that I'd be discriminated against when applying for residencies or jobs.

EDIT: It is an actual and serious case with lifelong repercussions.
 
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Chibucks15

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I'm just gonna save this for later. Carry on
 
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HomeSkool

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I have a question that I'm unable to find discussed on this website.

If as a medical student, I file a medical malpractice suit against my physician, could that affect my future career?

I'm wondering if it's likely that I'd be discriminated against when applying for residencies or jobs.
I think it would depend a lot on whether there were actual malpractice or if you're just a litigious douche. But it certainly ain't gonna make things easier for you.
 
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RNthenDoc

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I have a question that I'm unable to find discussed on this website.

If as a medical student, I file a medical malpractice suit against my physician, could that affect my future career?

I'm wondering if it's likely that I'd be discriminated against when applying for residencies or jobs.

I’ll pipe up here.

If your physician is well-connected, it absolutely *will* bite you in the butt if you sue him.

Depending on what went down, it may be the appropriate thing to do. His reach may not be that grandiose, either. Not enough info.

In general, you should seek legal counsel when throwing around ideas like that, though. These are heavy, heavy topics
 
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operaman

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No easy answer.

If there was truly negligence and you were seriously harmed then most docs would probably understand. It could still bite you depending on how well connected they are but it might be worth it. Obviously we can’t really help you here without knowing details and you can’t post those for obvious reasons.

Definitely speak with legal counsel first and beware of attorneys who may want to coax you into suing so they can get a big cut for their fee. If it were me, I’d find some experienced counsel and pay them an hourly fee to discuss options.

If the incident was truly egregious, your attorney may be able to get a settlement without even filing a lawsuit. Many institutions have resources devoted to handling things like this and may be willing to compensate you without even going to court, and may be able to negotiate confidentiality agreements as well. Obviously an attorney who is looking for a 30% cut of a big settlement or verdict won’t be keen on the conservative approach, but a good attorney paid on an hourly basis may be more amenable to exploring less incendiary options.
 
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RTD

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Ask a lawyer versed in this area to see what they suggest.
 
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Instatewaiter

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If the incident was truly egregious, your attorney may be able to get a settlement without even filing a lawsuit. Many institutions have resources devoted to handling things like this and may be willing to compensate you without even going to court, and may be able to negotiate confidentiality agreements as well. Obviously an attorney who is looking for a 30% cut of a big settlement or verdict won’t be keen on the conservative approach, but a good attorney paid on an hourly basis may be more amenable to exploring less incendiary options.

Most personal injury/plaintiffs lawyers don't charge anything upfront and will take a portion of the award- whether a settlement or after a trial. Because of this, plaintiffs lawyers would rather settle. This means they don't have to go through the very long and expensive process of a trial and are gauranteed often large sums of money. Huge verdicts are rare and are always appealed meaning that ambulance chaser isn't going to see money for their work often for many years. When you're paying tens of thousands of dollars for experts and trial prep out of your own pocket and have to wait a decade to recoup the cost, it isn't that appealing. They go for a large settlement the lions share of the time
 
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ploidy

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A lawyer won't necessarily be interested in your future medical career, keep that in mind. It all depends on what actually happened not just the existence of a case.
 

Donald Juan

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On top of talking to a lawyer, do you have any friends further along in their medical career who you can share the situation with? I understand you don't want to give the details here, but it leaves us here with little to go off of to give recommendations.
 

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Geez, what a sticky situation... I know if your school has a law school, then sometimes they provide free legal help to students. Good luck!


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I read a story in one of those premed books about getting into med school by a doctor whose son had sued his a doc (mightve been dentist) and when the son applied to med school he got rejected everywhere he applied despite having a strong app. The dad went and talked to some people connected to admissions people and they said, "why would we take that guy, he's suing doctors" When it was explained that the doc had ordered imaging that also included part of the chest and showed a softballl sized mass noted by radiology, and said absolutely nothing to the patient, the kid got accepted the next cycle. So that's one anecdote.

On the other hand, there are a few true bad apples and they tend to be well-known by other docs.
 
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Señor Científico

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Speak to your dean of student affairs/student ombudsman/dean of academic affairs. Someone at your school connected to residency application and share the details with them to get valid feedback, not a bunch of anonymous internet users.
 
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Oso

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I read a story in one of those premed books about getting into med school by a doctor whose son had sued his a doc (mightve been dentist) and when the son applied to med school he got rejected everywhere he applied despite having a strong app. The dad went and talked to some people connected to admissions people and they said, "why would we take that guy, he's suing doctors" When it was explained that the doc had ordered imaging that also included part of the chest and showed a softballl sized mass noted by radiology, and said absolutely nothing to the patient, the kid got accepted the next cycle. So that's one anecdote.

On the other hand, there are a few true bad apples and they tend to be well-known by other docs.

Wow that’s a crazy story
 

siliso

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No. Unless it’s a small field and he’s a heavy hitter or you want to work in a program where he works. There would be no route or notice for my residency program to even be aware of a lawsuit in which the applicant was the plaintiff, unless someone was scouring the local appellate rulings, which residency program staff are not.
 

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I read a story in one of those premed books about getting into med school by a doctor whose son had sued his a doc (mightve been dentist) and when the son applied to med school he got rejected everywhere he applied despite having a strong app. The dad went and talked to some people connected to admissions people and they said, "why would we take that guy, he's suing doctors" When it was explained that the doc had ordered imaging that also included part of the chest and showed a softballl sized mass noted by radiology, and said absolutely nothing to the patient, the kid got accepted the next cycle. So that's one anecdote.

On the other hand, there are a few true bad apples and they tend to be well-known by other docs.
Sounds like a whole lot of BS. How exactly would a dentist be that well connected that every single med school he applied to found out? Why would this dentist know that this kid was even interested in medicine? Why would an admissions committee care about this kid's lawsuit?

This seems like a ridiculous thing to worry about.
 

Dr.Jekyll75

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Sounds like a whole lot of BS. How exactly would a dentist be that well connected that every single med school he applied to found out? Why would this dentist know that this kid was even interested in medicine? Why would an admissions committee care about this kid's lawsuit?

This seems like a ridiculous thing to worry about.
i remember this story, it was from Atul Gawandes books. I dont remember which book it was but thats what he claimed. Wheather its real or not who knows.
 
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Sounds like a whole lot of BS. How exactly would a dentist be that well connected that every single med school he applied to found out?

Nobody said the dentist was connected or needed to be. All it had to do was make the news

Why would this dentist know that this kid was even interested in medicine?

Again, dentist doesn't need to know. You seem to be assuming the story implies the dentist intentionally got the student blacklisted. In reality, people suing doctors makes doctors understandably upset. They tend to think poorly of the people suing and tend to think the doctor probably didn't do anything wrong. It's human nature. You see it on here everytime someone posts on here about a lawsuit that's made headlines. There are lots of discussions on here with a very pro physician bias. That doesn't change until there's a ton of evidence to the contrary. You also see it when patients complain a doctor did something wrong. You see a lot of posts about how the patient is full of it or exagerating a doctor wouldn't do x,y, z. Yet interestingly you have docs on here griping about their colleagues doing the exact same thing like bsing an exam that wasn't done or something. In that case it's believable. Nobody wants their profession they've dedicated themselves to to get a bad reputation.


Why would an admissions committee care about this kid's lawsuit?

This seems like a ridiculous thing to worry about.

see above.

Other posters disagree with you.

Not knowing the full story can leave a bad taste in people's mouths and with admissions being as competitive as they are, it doesn't really take much more than that if other applicants don't have that question mark.

Lawsuits in general make people uncomfortable. People constantly complain about people in this country being sue happy. They might wonder if something happens at school is he going to stir up trouble and sue the school?

But if there's a case of very clear malpractice then the OP should probably talk to a lawyer about it.
 

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Nobody said the dentist was connected or needed to be. All it had to do was make the news



Again, dentist doesn't need to know. You seem to be assuming the story implies the dentist intentionally got the student blacklisted. In reality, people suing doctors makes doctors understandably upset. They tend to think poorly of the people suing and tend to think the doctor probably didn't do anything wrong. It's human nature. You see it on here everytime someone posts on here about a lawsuit that's made headlines. There are lots of discussions on here with a very pro physician bias. That doesn't change until there's a ton of evidence to the contrary. You also see it when patients complain a doctor did something wrong. You see a lot of posts about how the patient is full of it or exagerating a doctor wouldn't do x,y, z. Yet interestingly you have docs on here griping about their colleagues doing the exact same thing like bsing an exam that wasn't done or something. In that case it's believable. Nobody wants their profession they've dedicated themselves to to get a bad reputation.




see above.

Other posters disagree with you.

Not knowing the full story can leave a bad taste in people's mouths and with admissions being as competitive as they are, it doesn't really take much more than that if other applicants don't have that question mark.

Lawsuits in general make people uncomfortable. People constantly complain about people in this country being sue happy. They might wonder if something happens at school is he going to stir up trouble and sue the school?

But if there's a case of very clear malpractice then the OP should probably talk to a lawyer about it.
Relax, my point was that the story is incredibly unbelievable. Seeing as how it is a third-hand account (it's a story of a secondhand account from a book), it is very likely that this never happened. You think medical schools are googling every single one of their applicants? Residencies? The answer is no. Unless medical student screening is significantly different from what we did at my program (which I highly doubt). Medical malpractice cases rarely reach national news coverage and most physicians are oblivious to it much like the general public. The reality is that most residency programs won't give a crap and it is incredibly unlikely that they would ever find out about it unless you made it part of your personal statement or something similarly stupid. The worry is misplaced. If you think there has been malpractice that took place, talk to your lawyer or a physician you trust.
 

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Relax, my point was that the story is incredibly unbelievable. Seeing as how it is a third-hand account (it's a story of a secondhand account from a book), it is very likely that this never happened. You think medical schools are googling every single one of their applicants? Residencies? The answer is no. Unless medical student screening is significantly different from what we did at my program (which I highly doubt). Medical malpractice cases rarely reach national news coverage and most physicians are oblivious to it much like the general public. The reality is that most residency programs won't give a crap and it is incredibly unlikely that they would ever find out about it unless you made it part of your personal statement or something similarly stupid. The worry is misplaced. If you think there has been malpractice that took place, talk to your lawyer or a physician you trust.

I am relaxed. Thanks.

You are right, since it was something I read over a decade ago, I'm likely quite a bit off on the details.

But I think the overall points still stand. I'm not saying don't sue. I'm saying use caution. We don't know what the potential publicity of this case is, especially in the age of viral news headlines. You best shot is your local/regional med school and they are likely to hear about a malpractice suit locally. I'm saying lawsuits against doctors aren't well received by other doctors in most cases and it can give them a negative impression of you or give the appearance of you being a trouble maker. That's not something you want when the competition is already tight. Medicine is a small world. So, use caution.

I don't think it's accurate to say it's a ridiculous thing to worry about.
 

BigRedBeta

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I have a question that I'm unable to find discussed on this website.

If as a medical student, I file a medical malpractice suit against my physician, could that affect my future career?

I'm wondering if it's likely that I'd be discriminated against when applying for residencies or jobs.

EDIT: It is an actual and serious case with lifelong repercussions.

I'm going to take a different view than most here. I think people are grossly overestimating the publicity most lawsuits garner - in my experience, most physicians don't go around broadcasting that they've been sued.

If you have been seriously harmed and have a legit case, then you need to defend your interests. But perhaps, keep in mind, you may prefer to settle sooner than your lawyers might otherwise advise because of your future in this field. There are non-disclosure agreements that get signed for things like this, and you could certainly ask for one. Obviously, you don't have to push for some sort of multimillion dollar settlement (which are the types that typically gain more publicity).

If you are already a medical student, then you don't have to worry about gaining admissions. If you are, then perhaps, depending on who this guy knows, you might encounter some resistance at the closest medical school.

As far as residencies go, if you're really concerned, just apply to locations outside this physician's sphere of influence. And by the time you finish a residency program half way across the country, most people will have forgotten it ever happened.

Bottom line, this is being blown out of proportion by most of the responders and there are a number of different ways to mitigate potential negative consequences.
 
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One word.

KARMA

But seriously if you say it is serious with life long consequences then it sounds like you need to see it through. As others have said he may be on the boards or connected with those on the boards or residencies.

So the risk of him retaliating is real.
 

BigRedBeta

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One word.

KARMA

But seriously if you say it is serious with life long consequences then it sounds like you need to see it through. As others have said he may be on the boards or connected with those on the boards or residencies.

So the risk of him retaliating is real.

This is complete and utter nonsense. And ignorant to the reality not only of medical practice but any sort of bureaucracy. Conflicts of interest are typically taken very seriously in formal settings that are intended to be impartial.

1) If the physician being sued by the OP is a member of the state medical board and the OP came in front of the board for disciplinary action, the physician in question would have to recuse himself. If he didn't, that would be grounds for a successful appeal.

2) This is absolutely not the way the specialty boards work. Worst case, the OP ends up in a field that requires oral boards - and the examiner is the physician in question. And the same thing happens, the OP asks for him to recuse himself. If the physician says he can be impartial but still fails the OP, I guarantee the OP would get a rescore or second attempt in some form. Pain in the ass to get an appeal through? Absolutely, but the OP would have a significant case.

Now, the importance of having a broad network can be very important for residency and fellowship, but again, there are lots of programs out there and unless the connections are apparent, it's not like people are checking with everyone they've ever met in their career, particularly if the people aren't academic.

For a job, short of joining a practice in the same city, same field, with some people who are VERY close to the physician getting sued, totally unlikely to make a difference. Academic positions may matter a little more, but for private practice? Not likely. When I discuss my group's recruitment efforts, it's all very general and I only ask people their opinion if I know they likely overlapped directly. But it's not like I expect my peds pulmonologist who trained at Denver 10+ years ago to have connections that they can ask about a PICU fellow we're interviewing. It's just not a reliable piece of information.
 
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Now, the importance of having a broad network can be very important for residency and fellowship, but again, there are lots of programs out there and unless the connections are apparent, it's not like people are checking with everyone they've ever met in their career, particularly if the people aren't academic.

I'm confused, you call my comment nonsense and ignorant but then later support my point.
 

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I agree--if it's a legitimate case, that's the whole reason we have a tort system. If I unintentionally but knowingly wronged a patient I wouldn't take it personally if they sued me--it's the only way for patients to get recompense unless you offer them money yourself or you work for a hospital/system that deals with medical errors proactively (by apologizing and offering a settlement before a suit is even filed).

Don't get me wrong, it would suck to be sued. But there is a reason for the tort system (though it does get abused) and a reason for malpractice insurance. If you have a valid claim, you deserve to bring that claim forward.

Yes, depending on the physician's connections/place of work, and assuming they know you're a medical student, they could potentially make things difficult. But I think it's unlikely--as pointed out above, most lawsuits aren't posted in the news, and most physicians aren't talking about who sued them and what for. And if one goes out of their way to make things hard for you, well they're just setting themselves up for another potentially huge lawsuit.
 
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