The Doctor’s Advocate | Third Quarter 2016
Case Studies

What to Expect from Litigation: Dr. Gupta’s Perspective

Adverse outcomes can occur even when physicians follow the standard of care—and doctors may even face malpractice lawsuits for these cases.

Each quarter, our Case Studies series highlights one member’s personal experience in facing a malpractice claim. Any physician who might become the target of litigation can benefit from hearing peers talk about the emotional impact of being sued and the support they receive throughout the litigation process.

This quarter, we feature Malkeet Gupta, MD, MS, an emergency medicine physician from Los Angeles who was a defendant in a medical malpractice suit involving a woman who came to the emergency department at 26 weeks’ pregnant complaining of a urinary tract infection. The team ensured she was safe and sent her home with a prescription for antibiotics and a follow-up plan. The woman came back the next day in preterm labor and gave birth to a severely impaired baby. The patient alleged that she should have been admitted at the original emergency room visit to be monitored for signs of labor.

Dr. Gupta explains the difficulty of this case—despite following the standard of care and doing everything he could for his patient, there still was an unfavorable outcome. “I was concerned going into trial,” he says. “I did have emotional ups and downs, I couldn’t sleep nights, and it was very difficult.”

The powerful video describes this emotional case and how The Doctors Company provided a strong defense to clear Dr. Gupta’s name.

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.

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Here’s what to ask.

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