Residents of Roanoke, Virginia, are aware of the privileged status of medical practitioners. The abuse of such privilege can be quite a shock, especially considering the level of trust given to a doctor. This may also lead to questions of the patients’ physical well-being, with doubt created as to whether they received the best possible care by an incompetent doctor. Not surprisingly, doctors who are negligent are liable to be prosecuted under medical malpractice laws.
Given the different kinds of services doctors are expected to provide, negligence on their part can occur in many ways. A recent example is that of a Newport News-based pain doctor, whose license was revoked by the Virginia Board of Medicine for a number of offenses reported by various patients. Per the Assistant Attorney General, the doctor had on more than one occasion not acquired his patients’ medical records and failed to diagnose their ailment. He also did not considered different approaches for their care. Instead, he prescribed inappropriate levels of narcotics.
The Board also deliberated on whether the doctor was formally qualified as a pain doctor. His license had earlier been suspended in February, after investigators examined patient records and found allegations against the doctor to be valid. The testimony of two pharmacists who had previously refused to fill patient prescriptions provided by the doctor also corroborated the charge that the doctor had prescribed unusually high levels of narcotics.
Most patients approach a doctor with little or no awareness of their illness or injury, and they cannot easily tell if they are being treated as required. In many cases, such a realization, whether through aggravated suffering or through soliciting a second medical opinion, comes too late for the patient. However, when it is clearly known that the doctor has not provided the requisite care, patients have the choice of taking legal recourse, possibly through consulting with an advocate, to seek compensation for their suffering.
Source: Daily Press, Board revokes license of Newport News pain doctor, Prue Salasky, May 29, 2014