WHO IS THE CAPTAIN OF YOUR HEALTH CARE SHIP?

There was an article in our local paper today about Physician Assistants being used more and more in hospital settings and medical practices. I know of PA’s that treat depression, perform minor surgeries – they can almost do it all.

When you go to a doctor, who is actually treating you?

The Nurse?
Physician?
Nurse Practitioner?
Physician Assistant?

Yes. The answer is, everyone is treating you if they are aware and involved in your treatment.

So if someone makes a mistake, who is at fault?

The Nurse?
Physician?
Nurse Practitioner?
Physician Assistant?

Often times, it is none of the above. It is the company, the hospital or the practice we name in a lawsuit if negligence occurred.

Why is this?

For a few reasons – many of which are strategic and practical legally speaking. Since the company employs everyone, they all act as agents of the company and therefore the company is liable for their actions…

blah blah boring legal stuff, but important to think about it.

Who is the captain of your health care ship? Who is in charge? Everyone may be involved, but if you want to speak to the doctor, ask to see him/her. If you don’t want the PA or Nurse Practitioner to be your only treater – make that known. These folks can be wonderful and may know more about your case, but don’t be embarrassed to ask that everyone be involved with you care.

After all, if someone messes up, everyone will be involved in making it better.

Lauren Ellerman
Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.