Medical malpractice in Maryland occurs when a doctor does not meet the established standard of care of the medical community. If something minor goes wrong during an office visit, but you do not suffer an injury, you may not be successful in filing a medical malpractice claim.
A poor attitude or lack of compassion might not qualify as malpractice. However, you must speak with a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to determine if your situation falls under medical malpractice.
What is considered bad bedside manner versus medical malpractice?
Bedside manners are integral to patient care, and all medical professionals receive training in adequate bedside manner. Rude or disparaging comments make patients emotionally hurt or angry, but may not be medical malpractice – but it may violate ethical and licensing rules, which opens the door for other legal remedies. Bad bedside manner includes:
- Not appearing to listen to the patient, or only addressing a patient’s caretaker
- Lack of sympathy
- A disregard for the patient's fears
- Inappropriate language
Bad bedside manner is when a doctor is not caring or compassionate. However, when the doctor crosses the line from lousy bedside manner to bullying and coercion, it can result in medical malpractice. If you are forced into a procedure or medical treatment plan against your will, given wrong information about a procedure, plan, or medication, or if your medical records are shared with others without your consent, you may have a medical malpractice claim.
How can you determine the intent of a medical professional’s statements?
If a doctor insults you, you must determine the intent behind their insult since that can be subjective and hinder your complaint. Doctors must oftentimes offer information that is difficult to hear. (There is a difference between being blunt about your condition and being insulting.) You can ask these questions to determine intent:
- What part was insulting?
- Would the statement be insulting to others?
- Was it an observation or a judgmental statement?
- Were they being instructive?
- Were they trying to be funny?
After determining it was an insult, you must ask yourself if it was intentional or unintentional. You can confront the doctor about the comment to clarify the intent. You must also write down the name of the person and what occurred.
Filing a complaint with the Maryland Board of Physicians
If you find yourself dealing with a doctor who has a lousy bedside manner, you can take action; you are not powerless, and advocating for yourself is essential for getting the care you need. If the disrespect continues, you can take these actions:
- Complain to the hospital administration or physician office manager
- Recount your experience in a patient outcome survey or through a review
- File a complaint with the Maryland Board of Physicians
- File a medical malpractice claim
When their behavior is rude or unethical, you can file a complaint with the board, which will investigate and take disciplinary action if necessary.
Motivation to file medical malpractice claims in Maryland
Patients are more likely to file medical malpractice claims or complaints when a medical professional is rude or disrespectful. Patients care about how the doctor makes them feel physically and emotionally. Patients find it difficult to trust a doctor who doesn't listen or consider their desires.
But the truth is, there is only really one reason to file a medical malpractice claim in Maryland, and that is because you suffered poor care that led to additional injuries, losses, and damages. Filing this type of lawsuit can:
- Ensure a similar situation does not happen to others
- Get you answers about what happened to you
- Hold healthcare providers accountable for their neglect and harmful actions
Some patients try to sue the facility and not name the doctor because they had exceptional communication, before, during, and after the treatment. Good communication and bedside manner does not exempt doctors from making costly medical errors. Heed the advice of your Maryland medical malpractice lawyer for the best outcome.
If your doctor's lousy bedside manner leads to physical harm that requires you to get further treatment to treat the new or worsening condition, then you may have a medical malpractice claim. If the doctor is rude, disrespectful, or unsympathetic, you can complain to the Maryland Board of Physicians. Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A., can help you decipher if it is terrible bedside manner or medical malpractice and advise you on the next steps. Determining which route to take is challenging; therefore, you should speak with our Maryland medical malpractice lawyers at one of our various locations. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a consultation.