Understanding Medical Malpractice by Doctor Specialty

When you seek medical attention, you place your trust in a doctor to provide professional care. Unfortunately, sometimes medical providers fall short of this standard, leading to injuries or even death. This is known as medical malpractice. To help you understand more about the doctors involved in medical malpractice, the Kopec Law Firm provides you with this discussion of medical doctors and their specialties.

What is a Medical Doctor?

A medical doctor (MD) is a licensed healthcare professional who has completed extensive education and training to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions. Their journey typically involves:

  • Four years of undergraduate study in science fields like biology or chemistry.
  • Also, four years of medical school where they learn the fundamentals of human anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and disease processes.
  • Additionally three to seven years of residency training in a specific medical specialty, gaining practical experience under the supervision of licensed physicians.
  • Finally, passing rigorous licensing exams to practice medicine in a particular state.

Doctor Specialties and Potential Malpractice Claims

Due to the extensive size of the medical field, doctors specialize in specific areas of the body or medical conditions. Here’s a look at some common specialties and potential malpractice claims:

  1. Internal Medicine
    • Patients: Adults with a broad range of medical problems, often focusing generally on chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
    • Treatments: Medication management, preventative care, referrals to specialists, tests like X-rays and blood work.
    • Potential Malpractice: Internal medicine doctors may be liable for medical malpractice for misdiagnosis, medication errors, failure to refer for specialist care when necessary.
  2. Cardiology
    • Patients: Individuals with heart conditions like arrhythmias, coronary artery disease, and heart failure.
    • Treatments: Catheterizations, angioplasty, stenting, pacemaker implantation, medication management.
    • Potential Malpractice: Surgical errors during cardiac procedures, wrong interpretation of heart tests, failing to diagnose a heart attack.
  3. Neurology
    • Patients: People with neurological disorders like stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy.
    • Treatments: Medication management, physical therapy referrals, surgery in some cases (e.g., brain tumor removal).
    • Potential Malpractice: Misdiagnosis of neurological conditions, failure to order appropriate tests, medication errors.
  4. Orthopedic Surgery
    • Patients: Individuals with bone and joint issues like fractures, sports injuries, arthritis, and osteoporosis.
    • Treatments: Surgery (e.g., joint replacements, fracture repair), casting, physical therapy referrals.
    • Potential Malpractice: Surgical errors, improper casting techniques leading to additional injuries, failure to diagnose fractures.

Additional Specialties

  1. Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN)
    • Patients: Women for prenatal care, childbirth, and gynecological problems like ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and urinary incontinence.
    • Treatments: Pregnancy management, childbirth delivery, surgery (e.g., hysterectomy), hormone therapy, medication management.
    • Potential Malpractice: Birth injuries, failure to diagnose pregnancy complications, surgical errors during childbirth or gynecological surgeries.
  2. Pediatrics
    • Patients: Infants, children, and adolescents, generally for health checkups, immunizations, and treatment of childhood illnesses.
    • Treatments: Medication management, immunizations, referrals to specialists, diagnostic tests.
    • Potential Malpractice: Pediatrician doctors may be liable for medical malpractice for misdiagnosis of childhood illnesses, medication errors in dosages, failure to identify and address developmental delays.
  3. Anesthesiology
    • Patients: Individuals undergoing surgery who require anesthesia to manage pain and maintain unconsciousness during the procedure.
    • Treatments: Administering anesthesia medications, monitoring vital signs throughout surgery.
    • Potential Malpractice: Anesthesia errors leading to injuries or awareness during surgery, failure to monitor vital signs.
  4. Emergency Medicine
    • Patients: Individuals seeking immediate medical attention for injuries, illnesses, or sudden medical emergencies.
    • Treatments: Emergency stabilization, tests (e.g., X-rays, CT scans), medication administration, referrals to specialists for further care.
    • Potential Malpractice: Emergency room doctors may be liable for medical malpractice for misdiagnosis of an emergency condition, failing to order necessary tests, not providing timely treatment.

Important to Note:

This list is not every one. Many other medical specialties exist, each with its own potential malpractice claims.

If you believe you or a loved one may have been a victim of medical malpractice, then it’s crucial to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. We can review your case, determine if doctors breached their duty of care, and help you through the legal process of seeking compensation for your injuries.

Next Step

Visit the free consultation page or video. Then contact the Kopec Law Firm at 800-604-0704 to speak directly with Attorney Mark Kopec. He is a top-rated Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer. The Kopec Law Firm is in Baltimore and pursues cases throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C.

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