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Can a doctor’s rudeness be considered medical malpractice?

When California residents see doctors for health concerns or routine checkups, they expect courtesy and professionalism. Unfortunately, not all doctors act the way patients expect; some may even exhibit rudeness. In some cases, a patient may question whether this constitutes medical malpractice.

Understanding medical malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor fails to meet the high standard of care expected of them by patients. If a patient experiences harm because the doctor does not perform their professional duties to the expected standard of any other reasonable doctor, it can be considered medical malpractice.

Is doctor rudeness medical malpractice?

Some doctors lack good bedside manners. Patients prefer doctors who are nice to them because it makes them feel more comfortable and as though the doctor understands and sympathizes with them no matter what their situation.

However, a bad bedside manner includes a variety of behaviors and reactions most patients do not expect or appreciate. This may include rudeness, condescension, lack of sympathy, disregard for the patient’s feelings and fears, lack of politeness, lack of compassion and apathy.

Whether rudeness from a doctor is considered medical malpractice can be sticky. On its own, rudeness doesn’t equate to medical malpractice, but if the patient suffers harm because a doctor has disregarded their concerns and failed to diagnose or order the appropriate tests to make a diagnosis, it can be considered malpractice.

When suing the doctor might be necessary

Dismissing a patient’s concerns through rude behavior may be medical malpractice. It could hinder the person’s ability to have their medical questions addressed and lead to a misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis. With this type of behavior from the doctor, the patient would have to look elsewhere to get a second opinion. In this situation, they would have valid concerns and the right to file a complaint against the original doctor.

Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit after suffering harm could potentially help other patients in the future. It might prevent others from going through the same situation.