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Medical malpractice license sanctions may help related lawsuits

The New York State Department of Health Board for Professional Medical Conduct is charged with the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting claims of medical malpractice against physicians, who are also licensed by the state. Distinct from a medical malpractice lawsuit, these proceedings can result in professional sanctions against a doctor for his or her actions. In addition to censure and reprimand, the Board can issue fines, order education or retraining as well as community service. It can also order revocation or surrender of the physician's license. While the Board serves an important function, one cause for concern is that its determinations often come too long after the conduct that formed the basis for the original complaint.

For victims of medical malpractice, the fact that a Board of Professional Medical Conduct has found a doctor's care deviated from the acceptable standard of medical care may provide convincing evidence in any related medical malpractice lawsuit. On Sept. 21, the Board issued a formal censure and reprimand with a two year probation against a family medical practitioner from Brockport. The doctor was said to have been negligent in his handling of three separate cases in 2006 at Jones Memorial Hospital in Allegany County. In one, he was found to have failed to properly evaluate a patient in the hospital's emergency room on Oct. 11, 2006. In others matters, in August and November of 2006, he was found to have kept inadequate records to adequately reflected his evaluation and treatment of two separate patients.

While it is not known if any of the patients affected have sued the doctor for medical malpractice, the Board's findings would appear to support such an action. Many people are intimidated by the laws and regulations concerning these types of proceedings. A New York lawyer experienced in the in investigating and litigating medical malpractice claims may answer important questions and help fight to hold all responsible parties fully accountable for their wrongful acts.

Source: Democrat And Chronicle, "Physician censured by state health board," Patti Singer, Sept. 27, 2011

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