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Medical Justice

Making healthcare safe for doctors


Medical Justice Blog Page 2 (Articles 31 – 60)

Sometimes You Need a Good Laugh

We often write about serious topics.   Not today.   I want to give a shout out to a site called Gomerblog.   GOMER is medical slang for a patient in the emergency room who is not in need of emergency services. For those of you not old enough to remember, it first appeared in […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 2 Comments |

When Seeing Patients, is Three a Crowd?

An old joke says that the best way to keep a secret is to tell it to only one person, and that person should be dead.   All kidding aside, the greater the number of people who handle information, the more likely that confidentiality will be breached. That’s why physicians take histories and examine patients […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 3 Comments |

Some Residents Will Have Longer Shifts

Here’s a common joke I heard during my residency. “What’s the problem with every other night call?” “You miss half the cases.” The gist was that the more you saw, the more you did, and the more you learned. Because it was believed that patient safety suffered in the wake of such extensive hours, the […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 9 Comments |

It’s Not Enough to Say “Because I Said So”

Most parents have uttered the phrase “Because I Said So”. You know precisely what it means. You know why you said it. And, on occasion, your offspring will also know what it means. In the medico-legal domain, experts are generally needed to make the case to the jury. They need to explain why the defendant […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 4 Comments |

Getting Burned By a Patient with a Substance Abuse Problem

Most surgeons prescribe post-op narcotics to treat pain. The typical plan is a short course of narcotics followed by non-narcotic medication or no medication at all. I am not referring to complex pain or chronic pain. I am talking about a patient who in theory is not on narcotics when they see you, has surgery, […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 5 Comments |

Employer Sued for Alleged Discrimination. Employee Fired for Uncontrollable Farting.

When the US was founded, is it likely our founding fathers could have anticipated this lawsuit – Dolan v. Case Pork Roll Co.? Perhaps. Ben Franklin once wrote a letter called Fart Proudly. Franklin was living abroad, serving as Ambassador to France. He opined the Royal Academy of Brussels called for too many scientific papers […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 4 Comments |

One Sentence Can Save You Lots of Time and Prevent Headaches

Recently, I learned of a surgeon on the west coast who received a “love letter” from an attorney. By love letter, I mean a demand for several hundred thousand dollars.   The surgeon took care of a patient and recommended surgical treatment. The patient did not want any down-time and opted for conservative care, fully […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 6 Comments |

MOC and Your Web Site. How Can They Even be Remotely Connected?

I am not a fan of Maintenance of Certification (MOC). I think it’s a time-suck, expensive, and does little to inform the public of much that is useful. I say this from the sidelines because my Board certification in neurosurgery was grandfathered. So, I’m one of the lucky ones. For those who were certified after […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 12 Comments |

Notes from a Plaintiff’s Attorney: Dealing with malpractice litigation concerns

We continue with our series of general educational articles penned by one attorney, an MD, JD, giving you a view of the world through a malpractice plaintiff attorney’s eyes. This attorney is a seasoned veteran.  The series includes a number of pearls on how to stay out of harm’s way. While I do not necessarily […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 4 Comments |

 What “A Jury of Your Peers” Really Means

We continue with our series of general educational articles penned by one attorney, an MD, JD, giving you a view of the world through a malpractice plaintiff attorney’s eyes. This attorney is a seasoned veteran.  The series includes a number of pearls on how to stay out of harm’s way. While I do not necessarily […]

Posted in LegalMedical Malpractice | 3 Comments |

 Dealing With The “HIPAA Police”

We continue with our series of general educational articles penned by one attorney, an MD, JD, giving you a view of the world through a malpractice plaintiff attorney’s eyes. This attorney is a seasoned veteran. The series includes a number of pearls on how to stay out of harm’s way. While I do not necessarily […]

Posted in HIPAAMedical Justice Articles | 6 Comments |

 Piling On…

A driver injured a boy riding a scooter. The boy suffered significant head injury. The boy sued the driver. While the driver believed that some of the injuries were caused by medical negligence – after the accident – the court precluded the driver from presenting such evidence. There was only one defendant in this case, […]

Posted in Healthcare ReformLegalMedical Malpractice | 1 Comment |

 Is ICD-10 a Game Changer?

Physicians have to deal with a 100 paper cuts each day. Implied threat of lawsuits, RAC audits, denied claims for reimbursement, EMRs designed by computer scientists who do not practice medicine, and more. While these distractions are time consuming, stress-provoking, and aggravating, they are generally manageable. That’s why I was surprised to hear from an […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 13 Comments |

 Finally: An End to Malpractice Litigation?

Published in Medscape: March 05, 2015 (reprinted with permission)  http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/840337 A Sensible Alternative to Our Broken System? As every physician knows, our tort system is broken. Various solutions have been suggested over the years, only to fade away. But now, a promising new system for patient compensation in cases of medical error is being proposed in two […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 7 Comments |

 Dropping the Ball and Getting Away With It.

Cases do not normally end like this.   A cardiologist implanted a pacemaker. He ordered a follow-up check X-ray to check the leads and make sure there were no complications. A second cardiologist checked the films and discharged the patient from the hospital. The radiologist’s report noted the placement of the pacemaker leads. It also […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 13 Comments |

 Do No Harm: Dr. John Marsh’s Excellent Book

I just finished Do No Harm, a book authored by a freshly retired British neurosurgeon. If you’re not maxed out on your summer reading list, add this one. In one sense, the book is a bit depressing. Dr. Marsh works for the National Health Service and chronicles more defeats than victories. He writes about his […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 5 Comments |

 Foreign Bodies Left in the Body, Oh My…

Some unintended foreign bodies left post-op in the body never create any problems. Some are associated with continued risk. And the law is all over the place in terms of how long a surgeon or facility is liable, if at all.   A recent New York case illustrates this point.   In New York, an […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 3 Comments |

 Notes From a Plaintiff’s Attorney: Avoiding Liability in Retention of Medical Records

We continue with our series of general educational articles penned by one attorney, an MD, JD, giving you a view of the world through a malpractice plaintiff attorney’s eyes. This attorney is a seasoned veteran.  The series includes a number of pearls on how to stay out of harm’s way. While I do not necessarily […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 1 Comment |

 Personality Profile and Specialty Choice

  I’ve often wondered whether medical students are attracted to a particular specialty because of their personality type; or whether their personality adjusts and evolves based on their specialty choice.   The answer is it’s probably a bit of both.   One academic medical school website delved a little deeper into the question. They noted […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 8 Comments |

 Notes From a Plaintiff’s Attorney: Liability to Those Who Are Not Your Patients

We continue with our series of articles penned by one attorney, an MD, JD, giving you a view of the world through a malpractice plaintiff attorney’s eyes. This attorney is a seasoned veteran.  The series includes a number of pearls on how to stay out of harm’s way. While I do not necessarily agree with […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 5 Comments |

 Notes from a Plaintiff’s Attorney: Blowing the Whistle

We continue with our series of articles penned by one attorney, an MD, JD, giving you a view of the world through a malpractice plaintiff attorney’s eyes. In this article, the author addresses “Blowing the whistle.” This attorney is a seasoned veteran. The series includes a number of pearls on how to stay out of […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 3 Comments |

 Family of Jahi McMath – Declared Brain Dead – Files Lawsuit

This is a tough one.   Readers will remember the case of Jahi McMath, the unfortunate 13 year old who underwent an operation to treat sleep apnea, including tonsillectomy. Post-op Jahi was coughing up blood. The following morning her heart rate dropped and she went into cardiac arrest. Three days later she was declared brain […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 9 Comments |

 Can a Board of Medicine Discipline a Doctor for Participating in Worker’s Comp Fraud Investigation?

Many years ago, I took care of a worker’s comp patient. He wasn’t improving. He lamented he could not even pick up the newspaper from his yard.   The worker’s comp carrier obtained video surveillance footage of this same person getting in his car, traveling over two states to reach a casino. There, he was […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 6 Comments |

 Loser Pays in the U.S.? Some States Have It.

Most U.S. physicians are not clamoring to embrace the British healthcare system. But, one feature accessible to our colleagues across the pond is an exception. Loser pays.

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 5 Comments |

 Emotional Distress in Witnessing CPR – A Jury Decides

Families are pivotal in helping patients recover. They advocate for their loved ones. They give encouragement to rehabilitate. They provide reasons to push harder to live. What happens when a patient deteriorates in front of the family and a code is called? Sometimes the family is ushered out of the room. Sometimes they are pushed […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 6 Comments |

 A 37 Year Old Neurosurgeon Just Died From Cancer. His Words Are Immortal.

In his sixth year of neurosurgical residency at Stanford, Dr. Paul Kalanithi developed night sweats, back pain, and cough. His weight dropped precipitously. In May, 2013, he was diagnosed with stage 4 non-small cell EGFR positive lung cancer. He had never smoked.   He was treated and went back to work.

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 14 Comments |

 Pioneers Take Arrows. Staying Safe When You Are Leading Innovation.

As medical innovation evolves, someone is the first person to do a procedure. If the results are great – wonderful. What happens if the results are great most of the time, but one patient out of 100 has a horrible complication? If that patient sues for malpractice, he will argue you were not following the […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | Comments Off on Pioneers Take Arrows. Staying Safe When You Are Leading Innovation. |

 Are Doctors Responsible or Liable for the Germanwings Crash?

Recently, co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked himself in the cockpit of a Germanwings plane and intentionally caused the plane to crash, killing himself and 149 passengers and crew. We are learning new information daily. Apparently, he had a doctor’s note declaring him unfit for flying on the date he crashed. And, he apparently sought help in […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 4 Comments |

 Timing of Pulling the Plug

What’s the difference between an optimist and a pessimist?   An optimist believes these are the best of times.   A pessimist is afraid he’s right.   It’s an old joke. But, it exemplifies how we expect things will turn out.

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 2 Comments |

 Nationalizing Expert Review Panels

A handful of states mandate that medical malpractice cases first be reviewed by panels of experts. These panels rule on the merits of a case. They conclude the standard of care was violated or it wasn’t.   In the states that use such panels, such as Indiana and New Mexico, the panel’s decision is not […]

Posted in Healthcare Reform | 5 Comments |

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Latest News

How Facebook Saved My Patient’s Life 

June 6, 2017

Sometimes you need a nugget of medical information – pronto. If your patient has been in a hospital, you likely have access to reams of data. Finding your nugget may take seconds, minutes, or hours. You may never find it.   A number of years ago, Dr. Kamal Thapar, a Wisconsin neurosurgeon, gave a talk on […]

(more →)


Past News

May 26, 2017 Jewelry Store Owner’s Son has to Pay Competitor Because of Fake Review

The jury has spoken. Stephen Blumberg owns Stephen Leigh Jewelers in Massachusetts. Toodie’s Fine Jewelry is a competitor. Allegedly, Adam Jacobs, a Toodie’s employee, wrote a multi-paragraph negative Yelp review about Stephen Leigh Jewelers. The review said he was looking for a 1.5 karat engagement ring and he had a negative experience. He then advised […]… (more →)

October 10, 2012 Five-star practice, one-star reputation?

Fair or not, online reviews may be the first thing a potential patient sees about a dermatologist By John Carruthers, staff writer, Dermatology World, October 01, 2012… (more →)

April 5, 2012 HealthDay recently interviewed Medical Justice Founder and CEO, Jeff Segal, MD, JD, on the high costs of defending medical malpractice claims – win or lose

For doctors defending medical malpractice claims, costs vary widely across specialties and can run into the tens of thousands, even when a patient did not receive a payout, new research shows.

The upshot: Patients end up paying the price in the end, the researchers concluded in their letter published April 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine.… (more →)


November 10, 2011 Radio Health Journal recently interviewed Medical Justice Founder and CEO, Jeff Segal, MD, JD, FACS about the danger of “testimony for hire”.

Medical malpractice often boils down to a battle of expert witnesses. Frivolous cases are often fueled by inappropriate expert testimony.… (more →)

September 22, 2010 Preventing Frivolous Lawsuits and Frivolous Testimony

Every year, 8-10% of doctors will be sued for malpractice. Many physicians who have been sued or watched a colleague go through litigation respond with defensive medicine, which some recent studies estimate costs the healthcare system as much as $350 billion dollars a year. Most solutions to this problem would involve changes at the federal […]… (more →)