Doctor rudeness might be linked to medical errors

Pennsylvanians who believe they or a loved one have been a victim of a doctor error can be affected in a variety of ways. The illness, condition or injury they sought medical care for might grow worse. It is possible that the person could die because of the mistake. Whether it is a wrong diagnosis, a surgery error, a mistake with medication or any other misstep by a medical professional, research is ongoing to determine signs that might point to how and why it occurs. One study suggests that surgeons who have had complaints from patients in the past because of a personality conflict or attitude were found to make errors when performing surgery.

In the study, reports from patients of doctors behaving in an unprofessional manner were compared with surgical outcomes in several U.S. health systems. The researchers found that patients who received treatment by surgeons who accrued the highest number of complaints had a complication rate 14 percent higher in the month after the procedure than those who received treatment by surgeons who were seen to be more respectful. Among the issues that arose were infections where the surgery was performed, problems with the kidneys, heart issues, stroke, sepsis, pneumonia, blood clots, and infections in the urinary tract.

Another problem with rude doctors is that they are prone to being similarly disrespectful of fellow medical professionals. If the surgeon is rude to an anesthesiologist, that anesthesiologist might avoid speaking up during a procedure even if it is necessary. It is also suggested that examining reports from patients and their family members about unprofessional acts on the part of the doctor might be useful to find surgeons whose complication rates are high. The 14 percent might seem like a relatively small number, but when factoring in the number of surgical procedures done in the U.S. on an annual basis – 27 million – it comes to a vast number of potential errors due to this avoidable behavior.

When there is a patient who has suffered unexpected complications or there is a belief that a surgery error has occurred, there could be reasons that go beyond the obvious. Rude doctors is one that sounds like it should not be a problem, but research suggests that it is. Regardless of the potential mistake, having legal help investigating its cause and garnering evidence is imperative for a legal case. Discussing the matter with an attorney experienced in cases related to hospital error and misdiagnosis can help with pursing compensation.

Source:, “Rude, disrespectful surgeons may also be more error-prone: study,” accessed on Feb. 15, 2017