Anyone who goes to a medical practitioner for a health issue in Virginia expects to hear that person’s sound judgment about the issue and how best to treat it. Sometimes, a specific complaint requires a physician to perform a procedure due to the knowledge of the underlying condition. Even if a medical procedure is not performed, a physician may still prescribe medication to a patient.

Most patients enter their relationship with physicians with the idea that the doctor knows best. Each decision a doctor makes is based on conclusions drawn from observing and interacting with the patient. As with most human interactions, certain symptoms or reactions may not be described by the patient or noticed by the physician. This can result in the physician’s failure to diagnose a disease or condition correctly and lead to errors in the course of treatment.

Today, there is less reliance on practitioners in terms of seeking diagnoses and finding cures because people can draw from a number of resources, including online articles, about various procedures and advances in medical science and the experience of other patients with similar complaints. There is also more awareness that physicians are not infallible. Our readers may have seen previous posts here that provide examples on what might constitute medical negligence as defined by Virginia laws.

Any patient who is about to consult a physician or another healthcare practitioner, or who has just been through a consultation, can look up additional information about a condition and even solicit a second opinion. This can help the patient receive the most accurate medical information and the best medical care, which is the duty of every medical practitioner. It is also useful, and often necessary, to understand what kind of legal compensation may be available to those who have suffered because of physician error or medical malpractice.