Standard of Care Defined

Perhaps the most common complaints received by the Georgia Composite Medical Board (“Medical Board”) are those claiming that the practitioner failed to meet the standard of care.  The standard of care is that degree of skill and care exercised by the medical profession generally under similar conditions and like surrounding circumstances.  See Simpson v. Dickson, 167 Ga. App. 344 (1983).  The “standard of care” is not enumerated in a long list of dos and don’ts for every situation and the concept can often be nebulous and obscure.

Examples of complaints regarding substandard care include:  failure to obtain consultation or make appropriate referrals, practitioner/patient communication failure, failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis, and treatment errors such as medication errors and surgical errors, to name a few.

It is important to note that a complaint of substandard care filed with the Medical Board does not necessarily equate with a claim of medical malpractice, even though both involve allegations of a breach of the standard of care.  The Medical Board investigates innumerable complaints of substandard care that never evolve into an actual lawsuit or claim.  That being said, an adverse finding by the Medical Board can be just as devastating as a civil judgment of malpractice and can have far-reaching consequences on one’s ability to practice.

Defending Against Claims of Standard of Care Breaches

The legal team at Allen & McCain has a long and successful history representing and defending medical practitioners faced with a claim of medical malpractice.  Our attorneys and legal nurse consultants have a keen understanding of what constitutes the “standard of care” and have extensive experience and knowledge to mount an appropriate and aggressive defense on your behalf – whether the matter is a complaint before the Medical Board or a claim of malpractice.

Regardless of the circumstances, a practitioner who finds himself or herself the subject of a licensing board investigation involving allegations of substandard care should seek competent and experienced legal counsel – legal counsel that is experienced with and knowledgeable of the myriad laws, rules, and regulations affecting such issues.

It is also important to seek legal counsel that is experienced and knowledgeable with the administrative legal procedures governing the licensing and disciplinary process associated with the various healthcare licensing boards, e.g. initial investigation, informal interviews before the board, administrative hearings, proposed and negotiated consent agreements, and board ordered mental/physical evaluations.

The legal team at Allen & McCain, P.C. understands how stressful such accusations can be and we also understand the process involved in mounting an appropriate and aggressive defense on your behalf.  We have extensive experience in all phases and proceedings associated with standard of care cases, and are ready to discuss your case with you.  Please contact our healthcare attorneys at (404) 874-1700 for a confidential consultation.

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