Medical professionals should meet certain standards for the care they provide for patients, but these aren’t always the exact same thing. Standards of care in medicine depend on several factors. It is imperative that patients who don’t think they’ve received care that meets applicable standards find out if they have a medical malpractice claim based on that fact.
The National Guideline Clearinghouse gathers the current standards, so medical professionals can review them. But, this still isn’t infallible since the standards change depending on factors like the doctor’s training. Another issue is that some of these guidelines are formal, and others are merely suggestions about how to handle a situation.
When a doctor has to make a decision about how to handle a case, they need to look at all the information they have present. This includes symptom reports from the patient, the medical history, and any test results that are available.
Because not all doctors receive the same training, this also plays on what care you should receive. You’d expect better care from a neurologist than a general practitioner if you have a serious head injury. You’d also expect a higher level of care from a cutting-edge medical center than a rural practitioner.
It is sometimes difficult to prove that the standard of care wasn’t met. You may need the testimony from an expert who will testify that something wasn’t handled correctly. The issue here is that the medical community is tight knit, so other doctors might not be willing to do that. Sometimes, a doctor will speak up so that other patients aren’t put at risk by a negligent doctor.