When bad bedside manner becomes malpractice

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2024 | Medical Malpractice |

Some people may associate medical malpractice with a doctor misdiagnosing a patient or failing to provide adequate care in some other manner. However, there is actually another element contributing to whether North Carolina patients perceive themselves as having experienced medical malpractice, and that is related to the doctor’s bedside manner.

Good communication

You may have had experience of both the type of doctor who seems to listen and involve you fully in decision-making about your care as well as the kind who is brusque, uncommunicative and condescending. However, the consequences of these two different approaches can go beyond simply how it makes you feel. With the latter type of doctor, you might not get the education that you need to make informed decisions about your care. You could be rushed into procedures that you do not understand or might not be fully informed about side effects of a certain treatment.

Fewer lawsuits

Studies over many years have found that poor communication and an overall poor bedside manner makes it more likely that a doctor will face a malpractice suit. Both malpractice suits and medical errors in general are not uncommon, but patients are less likely to escalate mistakes to a lawsuit if they feel that their doctor has a good bedside manner. One reason that malpractice lawsuits are filed in the first place is to prevent the accident from happening in the future. Another is to solve the current problem. If the physician takes steps to address these concerns, you might not feel as though a legal solution is unnecessary.

However, if you or a family member has been harmed by a medical professional, you might still want to file a lawsuit even if the rapport with the professional was good. You could be entitled to compensation if the doctor did not provide a reasonable standard of care.