Primary Care Doctors Have a Duty to Refer Patients to Specialists
“Primary care” doctors are the doctors most people go to, most of the time. They are the family practice doctors, internists, OB/GYNs and pediatricians that we go to for check ups and routine things like flu or to get a prescription for birth control or cholesterol medicine refilled. They are an important part of medical care in this country, but they can’t do everything.
One of the main jobs of a primary care doctor is to send patients to the right specialist for help. Your primary care doctor is the person who should send you for evaluation of a kidney problem, or an unexplained problem breathing, or a potential cancer. When primary care doctors failure to refer patients who need a specialist, this is medical malpractice.
You wouldn’t go to a gynecologist for open heart surgery or to a dentist to treat a broken leg because you know they don’t specialize in the kind of treatment you need. In the same way, doctors are required to acknowledge when the treatment you need is more specialized than what they’re qualified to provide.
When Primary Doctors Fail to Refer Patients
When referrals aren’t made in time, the consequences can be very bad. Our team has seen what happens when a primary care doctor doesn’t refer a woman for evaluation for a lump in her breast, or a man for a persistent unexplained cough. We have represented clients who lost a loved one because a pediatrician wouldn’t send a child with meningitis for evaluation at a hospital. These cases, and many others like them, should never have happened.
The Malpractice Law Firm of Polewski & Associates Can Help
We understand at Polewski & Associates that when doctors refuse to ask for help regarding something as important as their patients’ health, people get hurt. The tragedy of having a loved one die because a doctor refused to refer them to a specialist is a tragedy that is unacceptable.
Our medical malpractice lawyers have been handling these kinds of cases for over 25 years, and our firm specializes in medical malpractice cases. We understand the law and the science behind your case, and we understand what’s at stake for you.
If you’re the victim of medical malpractice involving a doctor failing to provide a referral to a specialist, please contact Polewski & Associates online or call 501-404-0062 today to schedule your free initial consultation.