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Primary Care Malpractice

Primary care providers see patients who come to them with common, everyday medical problems. You see your primary care provider when you think you have the flu or a sinus infection. Depending on your insurance, your primary care provider can also be the gatekeeper of your access to specialists. Your primary care provider is usually the first doctor you see when something is wrong, and you trust him or her to provide you with appropriate medical care. But primary care providers can also make medical errors and can be liable for malpractice.

Who is Responsible for Primary Care Malpractice?

Your primary care provider may not necessarily be a licensed physician. More frequently in recent years, patients have been looking to nurse practitioners (NP) and physician assistants (PA) to provide them with primary care. NPs and PAs establish working relationships with licensed physicians. They perform many of the duties that a doctor performs including evaluating patients, performing routine diagnostic procedures, assisting doctors with monitoring patients, and counseling patients regarding treatment.
While these providers did not attend medical school, they are still expected to follow the appropriate standard of care and make sound medical decisions. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants should also be able to identify when a patient needs to be seen by a licensed physician. Physicians working with NPs and PAs can also be liable for failing to supervise these providers properly when expected to do so.

Common Primary Care Errors

Because they are the gatekeepers of your health, primary care providers have a significant responsibility to evaluate and care for their patients properly. Common primary care errors include:

  • Failure to take a thorough patient history
  • Failure to order proper lab work or diagnostic tests
  • Failure to refer a patient to an appropriate specialist
  • Failure to prescribe the appropriate medications
  • Failure to monitor the use of medications
  • Failure to perform complete annual physical examinations
  • Failure to timely turn over medical records
  • Failure to appropriately diagnose an illness or condition

Most malpractice claims involving primary care physicians involve the misdiagnosis of a serious medical condition.
If you’ve been injured as the result of negligence by your primary care provider, you should have an attorney evaluate your claim as soon as possible. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers in medical malpractice cases. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MED-LAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits available. Se habla espaňol.