Medical malpractice is the failure of a doctor, hospital, and other health care professional to render care or treatment in a way that is in accordance with the accepted standards of that medical practice. In order to prove medical malpractice it is necessary to prove the deviation from the standard of care by the testimony of a medical expert who has the knowledge of the standards of practice the health care worker was engaged in at the time he or she administered treatment. Additionally, it must be proven that the departure from that accepted standards caused the harm to the patient.
Patients who visit gastroenterologists do so because these doctors specialize in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and disorders of the digestive tract. The digestive tract is a 25 foot long tube through which food is processed. It includes the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder.
In the United States there are approximately 12,000 active gastroenterologists. In order to become a gastroenterologist a person must complete medical school, complete a three year residence in internal medicine, and then a two to four year fellowship in gastroenterology.
Gastroenterologists will often perform several procedures including colonoscopies, sigmoidoscopies, CT colonographies, and endoscopies. They will also treat a variety of diseases. As with other doctors, if a gastroenterologist fails to order an appropriate test, or to appropriately treat a digestive disorder, he or she may be liable for medical malpractice. Gastroenterologists treat a variety of diseases including:
- Celiac disease,
- Colorectal cancer,
- Food allergies,
- Inflammatory bowel disease,
- Irritable bowel syndrome,
- Gallbladder disease,
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease,
- Peptic ulcers, and
- Ulcerative colitis.
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