While we naturally trust that our health care providers know what they are doing, based on their years of experience and education, sometimes a physician is negligent in caring for a patient. A health care professional commits medical malpractice when they negligently and wrongfully treat a patient, fail to treat a patient when necessary or provide a patient with subpar treatment. To constitute medical malpractice, the patient must suffer some sort of harm due to the health care professional's actions or inactions. For example, a physician could commit a medical error such as a misdiagnosis, providing the wrong dosage of a medication or making an error in treating the patient.
The effects of negligence by a physician or other health care provide can have devastating impacts. Those impacts can be especially devastating when the patient is a young child. An Ohio jury recently awarded $44.5 million to a thirteen-year-old boy and his family for failing to diagnose or treat an ear infection.
The diagnoses patients receive have very big impacts on what treatment and care they get. Sadly, here in the U.S., it is not that uncommon for a diagnosis to be wrong.