Surgeons Criticizing Other Surgeons: Why What You Say Matters

Practice Management

As patients increasingly seek second opinions or change physicians after a bad experience, if that second physician disparages the first it could have legal ramifications, according to a report in AAOS Now.

In some cases, negative comments from one surgeon about another could — wittingly or not — encourage patients to file a lawsuit against the initial surgeon. Based on a study cited in the article, around 54 percent of lawsuits filed were in part due to comments of another physician.


"Despite frequent reminders during orthopedic training and from professional organizations to emphasize professionalism and respect, doctors are often too quick to assign blame whether consciously or subliminally," the article stated. "Although we as physicians do have an obligation to be truthful and fair to our patients, we do not have an obligation to blame our colleagues or to be critical of others' work."


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