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Are docters obligated to tell patients MRI results when a problem is present ?

Boise, ID |

My docter is a PA - C refered to me through a health service clinic . First Visit was a MRI request for thorasic and lumbar w / fusion and a referal to a pain specialist . After recieving MRI results the docter called and said there was a sugnificant bulge in L - spine level and could not be fixed . When I asked for more details on this he insisted on getting me into the pain docter . I tried to get into this facility in 2011 and at the present time through there financial assistance program both of which were denied . The second visit set up by me was not good . I talked to the docter about possibly getting a referal to another pain specialist and going over the MRI results with me . He said there is nothing I can do for you thus this concludes our visit .

Thank-You Mr. Walker Information that I did not give was that these two visits were Jan and Feb of 2013 and his referal was to a pain specialist not afiliated with this clinic. The 2011 referal was through a emergancy room visit. Thank You and sorry for the lack of info.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

A doctor that undertakes the duty to treat a patient has a duty to diagnose and inform the patient of the diagnosis. Doctors are not infallible and a mistake in diagnosis does not necessarily rise to negligence. You state that his diagnosis was "significant bulge in L - Spine level and could not be fixed. Later he repeated that there was nothing that he could do for you. It appears likely that he has fulfilled his obligation to you. You have now had nearly two years to seek a second opinion and an alternate diagnosis. It does not appear that you have any contrary evidence. The statute of limitation on these types of claims can be very short. If you think you have a case you should certainly seek a medical malpractice attorney in your area sooner rather than later. Just realize that the costs of proceeding can be prohibitive.

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Posted

You are aware, of course, that a "PA-C" is not a doctor. It is a physician's assistant who practices under supervision and a special license. It is possible that a more detailed discussion of your MRI findings was not within his training or expertise. Your needs might be better met by obtaining a copy of the MRI report and paying for a consultation with a spine specialist who is a MD. If something can be done for you, it is far more likely that it will be a real doctor that will have the knowledge and expertise to do it.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.

Posted

Your care givers are responisible to provide a standard of care that is up to a certain professional standard. In this case your caregiver did the right think, which was to refer you elsewhere. As noted, your caregiver is apparently a PA, which means that he or she will not be as familiar with more precise areas of medicine, and will thus not commit to something outside his or her area of expertise.

I am licensed in New Mexico and Pennsylvania, and therefore any discussion of issues related to other states must considered within that context. In addition, my comments are not intended to create a legal representation but merely to respond to the limited facts presented by the question. Any opinion herein is not meant as a precise statement of legal rights or as a recommendation of any particular course of action. A more complete legal review can be obtained through local counsel.

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