It can be nerve-wracking to undergo a surgical procedure. A lot of us have seen television shows where an operation doesn’t go as planned, resulting in serious harm. Yet, deep down, most of us trust our medical providers. Unfortunately, our trust doesn’t mean much when a medical error occurs. These mistakes, which can occur at any point during a procedure, are more common than most people realize, too, affecting thousands upon thousands of individuals each year.
How burnout contributes to medical malpractice
There are a lot of factors that contribute to medical malpractice. Perhaps one of the most common is simple burnout. Surgeons are no different from those who work in other occupations. They get overwhelmed, frustrated, and even bored. This disengagement from the profession can lead to devastating mistakes that can leave patients seriously harmed or dead.
Burnout among surgeons is extremely common. In fact, one study showed that as many as 40% of surgeons report feeling burned out. On top of that, 30% of surgeons reported experiencing symptoms of depression. This means that when you go in for an operation, there’s a strong likelihood that your doctor is sad, unengaged, or distracted, and he or she may act carelessly as a result.
Why is burnout so high among medical professionals?
There are a number of reasons. Many doctors are frustrated by the drive to see more patients, which gives them very little facetime with those they’re tasked with treating. This means that examinations are rushed, tests are overlooked, records are skimmed, and decisions are made hastily. This oftentimes flies in the face of what these doctors hoped they entered the profession.
But that’s not the only contributing factor to doctor burnout. Many individuals in the medical field also voice frustration with having to keep track of electronic medical records, which can be enormously time-consuming.
Even a doctor’s personal life can affect his ability to provide you with appropriate care and treatment. Those doctors who have children, are facing a divorce, or who are struggling with addiction may be at an increased risk of burnout, which, in turn, can increase the likelihood that you’ll be harmed by a medical error.
What to do if you’ve been harmed by an errant doctor
Your medical provider is tasked with giving you care that adheres to a certain standard of care. If your doctor fails to live up to that standard and you’re harmed as a result, then you’ll be justified in taking legal action.
To build your medical malpractice case, though, you’ll need to make sure that you can demonstrate a breach of the applicable standard of care, which is oftentimes easier said than done. That’s why you may need an expert on your side who can testify as to what your doctor did or didn’t do and how that stacks up against the care that you should’ve received.
Do you need a legal ally on your side?
You might also want an experienced attorney on your side who can help you build the persuasive legal arguments that you need. One of these legal professionals can help you gather evidence, engage in the discovery process, and craft the strategy that is right for your circumstances. They can aggressively negotiate for pre-trial resolution, or if things don’t work out there then they can zealously represent your interests in court.