It’s not news that doctors protect their own, although that fact is now proven. In a recent study, 46 percent of physicians surveyed admitted they knew of a serious medical error that had been made but did not tell authorities about it. This in spite of the fact that in 2000, the U.S. Institute of Medicine reported that up to 98,000 people die every year because of medical errors in hospitals alone.
There is probably plenty of blame to go around for this phenomenon: inadequate State Medical Boards, hospitals that profit off of physicians, and an attitude of many physicians that they simply should not be held accountable for their errors, because, they are, after all, doctors. Let’s hope the Georgia Composite State Board of Medical Examiners, the Board that oversees all physicians licensed here in Georgia, does a better job of cleaning their own house. Plaintiffs’ trial lawyers who handle medical malpractice cases here in Georgia, as I do, will do everything we can to hold negligent physicians accountable in a civil court of law, as long as the Georgia Legislature stops limiting a Georgia citizen’s access to the courts and, thereby, to justice.