The Doctor’s Advocate | Fourth Quarter 2021

Complimentary CME: Risks of Treating Family and Friends

Physicians are often faced with decisions about whether to treat friends and family members. When deciding whether to provide a “curbside consultation” over the phone or manage a patient’s health, practitioners must consider how their personal bond with the patient might affect the provider-patient relationship and the standard of care.

Physicians may believe that treating family and friends creates less risk for a malpractice claim, but data reveal that this is not true. Often, the situation creates a higher risk for the practitioner due to the casual nature of the relationship—which may also affect documentation, communication, clinical judgment and objectivity, and the ability to fully assess the patient through history-taking and physical exam. Earn 0.75 credits with our on-demand CME program, Internal Medicine: When Personal Relationships Interfere With the Standard of Care. It reviews a case example and highlights some of the common circumstances and risks associated with treating friends and family members.

Access this activity and explore our extensive course catalog.

The Doctor’s Advocate is published by The Doctors Company to advise and inform its members about loss prevention and insurance issues.

The guidelines suggested in this newsletter are not rules, do not constitute legal advice, and do not ensure a successful outcome. They attempt to define principles of practice for providing appropriate care. The principles are not inclusive of all proper methods of care nor exclusive of other methods reasonably directed at obtaining the same results.

The ultimate decision regarding the appropriateness of any treatment must be made by each healthcare provider considering the circumstances of the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the care is rendered.

The Doctor’s Advocate is published quarterly by Corporate Communications, The Doctors Company. Letters and articles, to be edited and published at the editor’s discretion, are welcome. The views expressed are those of the letter writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or official policy of The Doctors Company. Please sign your letters, and address them to the editor.

Fourth Quarter 2021

Perspectives from the CMO
To Measure and Reduce Diagnostic Error, Start With the Data You Have

An Ounce of Prevention
The Evolving Landscape of Diagnostic Errors—Challenges and Opportunities

Government Relations Report
2021 Judicial Review

Foundation News
Foundation Announces Latest Grant Recipients

Complimentary CME: Risks of Treating Family and Friends

The Back Page
Industry and Company News

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