Skip to main content

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.

+ Read More

Filed under: Medical malpractice
Attorney answers 3


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.

You have asked us to state an opinion based upon stated facts. You have not provided us with any documents, pictures, witness statements or other admissible evidence. The opinions stated are based upon general principles of law unless otherwise stated, which may or may not be applicable in your jurisdiction. Controlling law is also subject to change or reversal at any time. Any such changes may be retroactive and could significantly modify the statements and opinions expressed herein. Similarly, any change in the facts and assumptions upon which this opinion is based could modify the conclusions. We opine only as to matters expressly set forth, no opinions should be inferred as to other matters or to treatment of matters not specifically addressed. This opinion represents our best judgment as to the probable outcome of the issues discussed and is not binding on the courts or upon your adversaries. We can give no assurance that an adversary would not challenge our conclusions and prevail in the courts in a manner to cause adverse consequences. With respect to some of the matters discussed in the opinion, existing legal precedent may provide very little legal guidance. Although the opinions and views expressed are based on our best interpretations of existing law and what we believe a court would probably conclude if presented with the applicable issues, we can give no assurance that our interpretations would be followed if the issues became the subject of judicial or administrative proceedings. Realization of certain benefits described is subject to the risk that a tenant may challenge the treatment and that a court may sustain the challenge. Because you may bear the burden of proof required to establish a fact, the opinions expressed assume the you will undertake the effort and expense to present fully the case in support of any matter that you have asserted and an opponent might challenge. None of the advice provided here may be used to avoid tax liability, interest or penalties. If you want that level of assurance you will need to allow us to perform the full opportunity to explore the facts and law applicable to your specific circumstances. I provide answers here to allow people to see the style of communication and type of analysis applied to factual statements.


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.


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.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer