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Can I Sue a Medical Student for Malpractice?

Published: Jul 20, 2018 in Medical Malpractice

Medical students are required to have a certain amount of real hospital experience before they can graduate. As patients, we certainly want our doctors-in-training to have some practice before they are licensed. But what happens if they make a serious mistake? Is there such a thing as medical student malpractice?

Has a health care mistake caused significant problems for you or a loved one? Speak to the medical malpractice lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC today for help. We have extensive experience with these types of cases, and we will fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (618) 767-6443, or use our contact form to set up a free case evaluation.

Can a Medical Student Be Responsible for Their Mistakes?

Medical students need to have firsthand experience that cannot be learned inside a classroom. For this reason, many hospitals are also teaching institutions. That means they offer classes, allow students to observe procedures, and have students confer with patients to make diagnoses or recommend treatment.

Because students are getting hands-on experience, teaching hospitals are careful to shield them from liability. Medical students work under a supervising physician that reviews their orders and checks medication doses before signing off on a treatment plan. As a result, medical student malpractice is rarely an issue.

Supervising physicians are doctors who see their own patients as well, so it’s possible for these doctors to misread a chart or forget to check their students’ work. Still, when these mistakes occur, the student is unlikely to be the one who takes the heat.

Who is Held Responsible?

If a student will not be held responsible for malpractice, who takes the blame? Often the hospital absorbs the responsibility. Medical students are often covered by malpractice insurance, either through their school or through the teaching hospital.

Occasionally, the supervising physician may be looped in as well, if the mistake was made because they were not overseeing the student’s work correctly. This doctor is usually also covered by the hospital’s insurance, but there are times when they can be named in a lawsuit. In rare cases, it may be possible to sue the student, the supervising physician, and the hospital, but this is generally avoided. Ultimately, a student is not a licensed professional, so they cannot really be held liable for medical errors.

Talk to an Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawyer

It’s understandable that medical students are nervous about treating patients. But when they make a grave error instead of a small mistake in your treatment plan, you cannot be expected to remain silent. Medical student malpractice can lead to injuries that could afflict you for months, and possibly even the rest of your life. You could have trouble working, which may put your family in financial jeopardy. Additionally, you will likely require further medical treatment to correct the mistake, which can lead to a mountain of bills that can be difficult to pay.

At The Cates Law Firm, LLC, we are familiar with the problems people encounter after health care errors. Our medical malpractice lawyers are not afraid to stand up against teaching hospitals and seek the financial award you deserve. For a no-cost evaluation of your case, call us at (618) 767-6443, or contact us online.