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Man's medical license pulled for 1 year for failure to diagnose

Patients expect their doctors to listen to their complaints and to help them obtain the proper treatment in order to be restored to good health. While listening to patients is crucial to quality patient care, so is picking up on what isn't being said. One doctor has now had his medical license suspended for missing the behavioral cues of certain patients. That may have led to a failure to diagnose the medical problems of certain patients who may have had a prescription pill dependency. While this man did not practice in Maryland, it may be useful to others to learn about his experience.

The doctor was accused of improperly handling 11 of his patients. The charges included allegations that the man violated protocols regarding the oversight of patients who were prescribed controlled pain relievers, specifically narcotic medications. One particular case was highlighted in the report.

Purportedly, the physician wrote prescriptions for two controlled pain relievers for a woman who was pregnant. She received prescriptions for Dilaudid, which is a narcotic pain reliever, and also for morphine, another powerful pain-killer. The records also showed the woman had an order for vitamins taken during pregnancy. In addition to this case, authorities claimed that the man was able to access the registry for people currently prescribed narcotics but he did not follow the regulations which require close supervision of these patients to limit repetitive attempts to obtain these potentially addictive medications.

The 24-year-old pregnant woman did test positive for various substances after the birth of her child. When the doctor was questioned concerning the action taken by the medical board, he acknowledged that he was culpable for failure to diagnose and supervise patients who were prescribed potentially dangerous medications; however, he is hoping that his license will be restored at the end of one year. Maryland patients are entitled to receive professional and objective care from their physicians and other providers. If they believe that their doctor has not acted in their best interests, and they have suffered harm as a result, they are entitled to file a medical malpractice claim against any healthcare provider deemed negligent. Doing so may have the effect of ensuring they are reimbursed for any harm they may have suffered, as well as preventing others from being harmed in the future.

Source: hamptonroads.com, "Physician suspended for lapses in drug monitoring", Elizabeth Simpson, May 29, 2014

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