Like all medical professionals, an OBGYN or obstetrics and gynecology specialist can be liable for medical malpractice. In fact, an OBGYN is one of the most commonly sued medical specialties and frequently has one of the highest insurance premiums among any medical professional. If the OBGYN is an attending, his or her medical malpractice can also leave the hospital or health care entity liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior, which is known as vicarious liability. If the OBGYN is not an attending and only has privileges, he or she may or may not cause the hospital to also be negligent.
Where it gets tricky is an OBGYN resident. Are they doctors? Not technically yet, as they need to complete the residency for full licensure benefits and to practice alone. But this does not mean a resident is without any ability to practice medicine. On the contrary, most residents render care and advice to patients and even assist if not perform minor procedures. Most residents will even help perform surgeries with licensed physicians.
Because a resident is learning his or her trade, he or she is part of the hospital’s staff. The hospital which accepts residents is known as a teaching hospital. For the purposes of employment and liability, the resident is an employee of the hospital and will render the hospital liable. The program may also be liable, meaning the teaching program such as the one from the actual medical college may also be liable for medical malpractice.
When an OBGYN resident makes a medical error which is negligent, there will be multiple entities which could be liable for the victim of medical malpractice. This means the hospital, the medical college, an attending or supervising physician, nurses assisting with care, and of course the negligence resident.
Don’t you agree? Shouldn’t a resident, who is technically a student, who makes negligent errors be liable for mistakes? Otherwise it would allow a student or resident to duck and avoid liability of the harm that is caused to a victim. No that is unfair!
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.