Emergency room physicians provide some of the most important medical care for people who have just involved in an accident or who have gotten seriously hurt. While emergency rooms are frequently stressful and chaotic environments, the physicians who work there still have to provide medical care that lives up to a reasonable standard. If they make a mistake or provide negligent medical care, it can amount to malpractice.
Emergency Room Physicians: Education and Licensing
Emergency room physicians have to undergo the same rigorous education and training that other doctors do. They have to:
- Graduate college
- Get accepted into medical school
- Graduate medical school
- Complete a three or four-year residency requirement
This residency has to be under the supervision of certified emergency room doctors.
Once all of these educational requirements have been completed, emergency room physicians still have to pass the board exam in the state in which they want to practice. Then they have to become board certified in emergency room practice by earning an Emergency Medicine Initial Certification, which requires a three-year emergency room residency and successfully passing a test.
Lots of emergency room doctors also go through another fellowship to specialize in specific components of emergency care.
The Practice of Emergency Room Physicians in Philadelphia
Emergency room physicians, as their name implies, work in emergency rooms in hospitals. They can also work in mobile intensive-care units that provide medical care in the field, closer to where injuries happen. They frequently work in rotating shifts of 8 to 12 hours.
While emergency room physicians work in hospitals, though, they do not necessarily work for the hospital. Many hospitals staff their emergency rooms with independent contractors rather than employees. While patients rarely experience much of a difference during their time in the emergency room, it can drastically alter what happens if something goes wrong.
Medical Malpractice by Emergency Room Physicians
Emergency room doctors commit medical malpractice whenever the standard of care that they provide to their patients falls below what is considered acceptable. This can happen in a huge variety of ways, especially in the chaos that is often an emergency room:
- Forgetting about a patient and not checking in on their condition for hours
- Giving a patient the treatment that was supposed to be provided to another one
- Misdiagnosing a medical condition
- Releasing someone who is having a serious medical problem and needs care
Emergency room physicians who are independent contractors, rather than employees, are often held legally liable for their own malpractice. If they had been employed by the hospital, then the hospital would be liable. This can make a big difference in the amount of compensation that a malpractice victim can recover.
Gilman & Bedigian: Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Philadelphia
The medical malpractice lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian help people who have been hurt by the poor care provided by emergency room physicians. Contact them online to get started on your case if you went to an emergency room in Philadelphia and think you have suffered from malpractice.