The Dallas Morning News recently conducted a thorough investigation into the way doctors are trained that has consequences for many patients, leading to many medical mistakes. Investigators at the publication uncovered several cases in their area of patients of all ages rushed to the emergency room, treated by inexperienced resident doctors, and ultimately killed by the physician’s medial error.
Teaching hospitals like the one investigated in this case treat more than half of all patients in the country and perform about 70% of all charity medical treatment. However, regardless of the prevalence of the training systems, there are rising concerns about the minimal efforts taken to ensure the safety and well-being of the patients involved. The medical teaching environment is traditionally an insular, self-regulating community that has not been open about the actual procedures involved with doctor training.
On top of that, it is difficult to get a true measure of the medical mistakes made by resident doctors because there is minimal tracking of such statistics. The medical political lobby has fought to ensure there are no safety regulations governing the supervision of medical residents. The U.S. Department of Health and Human services rarely investigates issues related to resident supervision and error.
In fact academic studies are generally the only way that information about malpractice caused by medical residents are shared with the public. That data includes a report that revealed over 15,000 deaths caused by hospital actions across the country each month. Also, researchers documented the “July Effect” where hospitals experience a 10% spike in medication errors because it is the month when new resident begin working at teaching hospitals. A Harvard study concluded that 1/3 of all medical errors are caused by medical residents, specifically when supervision has broken down in the teaching system.
Our Chicago malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti understand the problems associated with inadequate supervision over inexperienced doctors. We have worked with victimized patients and their families who have suffered heartbreaking loss following the mistakes of a medical resident. Please contact our malpractice attorneys if you may have been harmed by a doctor.
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