Medical Malpractice: Can You Be Held Liable for Failing to Diagnose?

September 30, 2022
The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford

Doctor holding stethoscope

Patients rely on their doctors to correctly diagnose their illnesses so that they can receive the appropriate medical treatment. As many doctors know, however, correctly diagnosing an illness, injury, or other health condition isn’t always easy. When doctors are unable to make a diagnosis or their diagnosis is incorrect, patients become quickly frustrated. And if the diagnosis resulted in additional health issues, their frustrations can quickly boil over into a medical malpractice lawsuit. If your patient is claiming that you failed to make a diagnosis, a Maryland physician license defense attorney can protect you and your license should they decide to pursue a medical malpractice claim. 

When is a Failure to Diagnose Medical Malpractice?

To be clear, you can face potential malpractice liability for the following: 

  • Failing to make any diagnosis at all
  • Delays in making a diagnosis
  • Making an incorrect diagnosis

Any one of these things can potentially trigger a medical malpractice lawsuit. In order to prevail, however, the patient must prove that you failed to meet the appropriate standard of care in failing to make the correct diagnosis. The standard of care is determined by what a physician of similar training, education, and experience would do in the same or similar case. The facts will be critical, but you also need to be able to prove how the standard of care will apply to your case. 

That said, some examples of where a misdiagnosis might rise to the level of medical malpractice include the following: 

  • Failure to review the patient’s chart or medical records
  • Failure to conduct a thorough examination of the patient
  • Misinterpretation of test results
  • Refusal to order appropriate testing

Doctors who have been accused of medical malpractice due to a misdiagnosis should contact a Maryland physician license defense attorney as soon as possible. 

Can This Cost Me My License?  

Maryland doctors can face disciplinary action in response to the following allegations: 

  • Engaging in unprofessional conduct
  • Incompetence
  • Providing substandard care, i.e. engaging in medical malpractice

If you are sued for medical malpractice and found liable, you could likely face disciplinary action. However, you could face disciplinary action if a complaint is filed against you with the Maryland Board of Physicians even if no medical malpractice lawsuit is ever filed. 

That said, you may be able to avoid suspension or revocation of your license even if you are sued for medical malpractice. The Board has the discretion to impose whatever sanctions it believes are appropriate under the circumstances. An experienced Maryland physician license defense attorney can protect your license and help you obtain a fair outcome. 

Accused of Medical Malpractice? Contact Maryland Physician License Defense Attorney J.W. Stafford and His Team Immediately

If you have been accused of medical malpractice, your reputation, your license, and your livelihood are at stake. Fortunately, you don’t have to face this situation – Maryland physician license defense attorney J.W. Stafford and his team can help you put this issue behind you. Contact us today at 410-514-6099 to discuss your case and how we can help.