Before you choose a doctor to provide you with treatment or perform a surgical procedure on you, you should really take the time to learn a little bit about who they are aside from how long they have been in practice. For instance, did you check to see if they were under investigation for medical malpractice or if they were ever recognized in a malpractice lawsuit before being treated by them? Did you read reviews from past patients to find out whether they were satisfied with the care they had rendered or if the outcome of the procedure they had performed was what they expected?
Knowing who is treating you and what their past experiences with other patients was like can give you an idea as to whether they are the person you should be trusting to treat your medical condition. While most people assume that a doctor or surgeon who is in practice is qualified and capable of rendering care to patients, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The fact is, just because a physician goes through the required schooling he or she needs to practice medicine doesn’t mean they are incapable of rendering substandard care or making a medical mistake.
So, the next time you are seeking medical help, you might consider researching who the doctor is, what past patients had to say about the treatment they had rendered by him or her, and whether or not the physician comes up in the DocInfo database as someone who has been recognized in a medical malpractice lawsuit or has had disciplinary action taken against them for an error they made.
Important: Doctors who are rendering care aren’t the only healthcare professionals we need to be concerned about. The team working behind them who are required to read x-rays, blood samples, tissue samples, etc. can also make a medical mistake or engage in reckless behavior that directly harms a patient too. This is why you need to stay on top of your physician to be sure you are receiving accurate information along with the quality care that is necessary to treat your condition.
Veterans Affairs Pathologist Charged with the Deaths of Three Veterans
Back in August 2019, the Washington Post reported that a former Veterans Affairs pathologist was not only charged with the deaths of three veterans, but that he was also charged with “a scheme to cover up years of drug and alcohol use on the job that caused him to misread thousands of fluid and tissue samples of ill patients.” According to the news source, the former doctor who has been identified as Robert Morris Levy, was “indicted on three counts of involuntary manslaughter and 28 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, and false statements to law enforcement officials.”
The source also highlighted that the Department of Veterans Affairs “told members of Congress and investigators that Levy’s misdiagnosis, which amounted to more than 3,000 cases, were responsible for at least 15 deaths.” Apparently, Levy had an issue with alcohol but learned how to cover it up using his “knowledge of toxicology and the science of blood testing and urinalysis to devise a dangerous solution.” The solution, which was called 2-methyl-2-butanol was used to “mask the alcohol level in his blood” despite it being unsafe for an individual to use. Given Levy’s knowledge and experience, he allegedly used just enough to convince the “Mississippi state medical license board that he was clean.”
Levy, despite being intoxicated, maintained his role as a pathologist who was responsible for “reading slides and assisting radiologists, surgeons, and other physicians during procedures called “needle biopsies.” To make matters worse, “Levy’s diagnoses and the information he entered in patients’ medical records “largely influenced decisions about their course of treatment.” It is estimated that between 2005 to 2017, Levy rendered clinical diagnoses for about 24,000 veterans. He was responsible for “diagnosing cancer and other diseases in aging veterans who fought in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan, and those who served but did not see combat.”
After an 18-month review of Levy’s cases, it was discovered that nearly 10% of his diagnoses involved clinical errors. While some veterans who were suffering from cancer were unaware of their illness as they weren’t properly diagnosed, others underwent unnecessary treatment for a condition they didn’t even have.
As tragic and unfortunate as it is, there are many individuals who have received substandard care from a physician here in Mississippi that has led to them suffering. If you feel your physician or surgeon did not provide you with the standard level of care or made an error while performing a surgical procedure, Madison, MS personal injury attorney William E. Ballard is here to help you. If you would like to discuss your incident in depth with a legal expert who has experience with handling medical malpractice cases, contact Ballard Law, PLLC today.
You can reach Ballard Law, PLLC at:
108 S. President Street
Jackson, MS 39201