Found 99 Results Sorted by Case Date
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Florida – Critical Care Medicine – Intensivist Unavailable To Assess Patient With Metabolic Acidosis, Abdominal Pain, And Vomiting



On 10/19/2011 at 5:23 p.m., a 35-year-old male presented to the emergency department at a hospital with a chief complaint of abdominal pain and vomiting, which started approximately five hours before he presented to the hospital.

The patient was admitted to the hospital under the service of an intensivist and was notified of his arrival and condition at 5:35 p.m.

Between the hours of 5:50 p.m. and 7:22 p.m. the intensivist gave verbal orders of Dilaudid and ketorolac to the patient’s nurse.

At 9:20 p.m., the intensivist gave telephonic orders to the patient’s nurse, to place him on his home BIPAP mask.

On 10/20/2011, at 3:15 a.m. a rapid response was called due to an acute change in the patient’s respiratory status.

During the rapid response, an arterial blood gas (“ABG”) was drawn that revealed critical metabolic acidosis.

The intensivist never presented to the emergency room to assess the patient when he demonstrated medically dangerous/life-threatening signs at 3:15 a.m. or any time thereafter.

The intensivist never attended to the patient when his clinical situation was from an unknown cause and when a clear treatment plan had not been determined.

From 3:43 a.m. to 4:15 a.m., the critical care practitioner was contacted approximately five times with information on the patient’s medically unstable and deteriorating condition.

At 3:45 a.m., the patient became short of breath, restless, diaphoretic, and seizure episodes followed.  He was then transported to an intensive care unit.

At 5:25 a.m., a second rapid response was called due to a further decline in the patient’s health.  The rapid response turned into a code blue.

The patient underwent a cardiopulmonary arrest, and the code team was unable to resuscitate him.

On 10/20/2011, the patient expired at 6:25 am.

The autopsy results were consistent with acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis with diffuse pancreatic necrosis.

The Medical Board of Florida judged the intensivist’s conduct to be below the minimal standard of competence given that he failed to presented to the emergency room to assess the patient when the patient demonstrated medically dangerous/life-threatening signs on 10/20/2011 at 3:15 a.m.

The Medical Board of Florida issued a letter of concern against the critical care practitioner’s license.  The Medical Board of Florida ordered that he pay a fine of $7,500 against his license and pay reimbursement costs for the case at a minimum of $4,503.10 and not to exceed $6,503.10.  The Medical Board of Florida ordered that the critical care practitioner complete ten hours of continuing medical education in the area of critical care medicine and complete five hours of continuing medical education in “risk management.”

State: Florida


Date: December 2017


Specialty: Critical Care Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Pulmonology


Symptom: Abdominal Pain, Nausea Or Vomiting


Diagnosis: Gastrointestinal Disease


Medical Error: Failure to properly monitor patient


Significant Outcome: Death


Case Rating: 4


Link to Original Case File: Download PDF



Florida – Psychiatry – Lithium Administration With Lisinopril And Hydrochlorothiazide



On 12/7/2016, a 30-year-old female was admitted to University Behavioral Center (“UBC”) while suffering from acute psychotic symptoms and was placed under a psychiatrist’s care.  The patient remained under the psychiatrist’s care at UBC for approximately eleven days.

On the day of the patient’s admission, the psychiatrist began treating the patient with lithium.  The psychiatrist continued treating the patient with lithium until 12/17/2016.

The patient had previously been prescribed lisinopril (an ACE inhibitor) and hydrochlorothiazide (a thiazide diuretic) for hypertension.  The psychiatrist continued treating the patient with hydrochlorothiazide until 12/16/2016.  The psychiatrist continued treating the patient with lisinopril for the duration of her stay at UBC.

During the course of the patient’s confinement at UBC, her condition worsened, and she experienced incontinence and increasing levels of confusion.  After falling in the shower on 12/18/2016, the patient was transferred to a hospital for medical treatment, where it was determined that the patient was experiencing lithium toxicity.  As a result of the lithium toxicity, the patient suffered kidney failure, which required dialysis.

The Board judged the psychiatrist’s conduct to be below the minimum standard of competence given that she should have been aware of the potential drug interactions with lithium and to prescribe alternative antipsychotic drug to a patient taking both a thiazide diuretic and an ACE inhibitor, as each of these drugs has a known interaction with lithium which presents risk of lithium toxicity.  The psychiatrist also failed to monitor the patient for signs of lithium toxicity, and she failed to immediately discontinue treatment with lithium when the patient began experiencing symptoms of lithium toxicity.

It was requested that the Board order one or more of the following penalties for the psychiatrist: permanent revocation or suspension of her license, restriction of practice, imposition of an administrative fine, issuance of a reprimand, probation, corrective action, payment of fees, remedial education, and/or any other relief that the Board deemed appropriate.

State: Florida


Date: December 2017


Specialty: Psychiatry


Symptom: Psychiatric Symptoms, Confusion, Urinary Problems


Diagnosis: Drug Overdose, Side Effects, or Withdrawal


Medical Error: Improper medication management, Failure to properly monitor patient


Significant Outcome: N/A


Case Rating: 3


Link to Original Case File: Download PDF



Florida – Internal Medicine – Inadequate Monitoring For Post-Operative Care After Thyroid Lobectomy



On 8/12/2011, a patient was admitted to a medical center for post-operative care after a right thyroid lobectomy.

The patient presented with multiple risk factors for coronary artery disease, including obesity and tobacco use.  She had a prolonged and difficult time with extubation after the surgery and complained of shortness of breath.

An internist was consulted for medical management.  The internist diagnosed the patient with questionable and mild pulmonary edema.  The internist’s plan of care for the patient was to admit her to the hospital, obtain ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) scan, perform cardiology and deep vein thrombosis evaluations, and perform peptic ulcer disease prophylaxis.  The internist did not order telemetry monitoring for the patient.

On 8/12/2011, the patient was found slumped over the left side of her hospital bed and unresponsive. Staff initiated resuscitative efforts but they were unsuccessful and the patient expired.

The Board judged the internists conduct to be below the minimum standard of competence given that he failed to order telemetry monitoring for her upon her admission to the medical center.

The Board ordered that the internist pay a fine of $5,000 against his license and pay reimbursement costs for the case for a minimum of $2,378.85 and not to exceed $4,378.85.  The Board also ordered that the internist complete five hours of continuing medical education in “Risk Management” and complete a one hour lecture/seminar on “Risk Management.”

State: Florida


Date: November 2017


Specialty: Internal Medicine


Symptom: Shortness of Breath


Diagnosis: Pulmonary Disease


Medical Error: Failure to properly monitor patient


Significant Outcome: Death


Case Rating: 1


Link to Original Case File: Download PDF



Florida – Anesthesiology – Proceeding With A Colonoscopy With A Non-Functioning End Tidal CO2 Monitor



A 59-year-old female presented to an anesthesiologist during her colonoscopy.  The anesthesiologist conducted a pre-operative anesthesia assessment of the patient.  She was then transported to the procedure room where a certified registered nurse anesthetist (“CRNA”) was to provide total intravenous anesthesia to the patient.

The end-tidal CO2 monitor (“ETCO2 monitor”) located in the scheduled procedure room was non-functional on the day before the surgery and a functioning ETCO2 monitor had not been received on the day of the surgery.

The anesthesiologist instructed the CRNA to proceed with the anesthesia without the ETCO2 monitor.  The anesthesiologist did not delay the procedure or postpone it for another date to allow time to obtain a functioning ETCO2 monitor.  The anesthesiologist did not transfer the patient to another procedure room that had a functioning ETCO2 monitor.  The anesthesiologist did not implement additional precautionary measures by closely monitoring the patient with his presence since he elected to proceed without an ETCO2 monitor as recommended by the ASA (American Society of Anesthesiologists).  The anesthesiologist was not present in the procedure room during the procedure.

The CRNA experienced difficulties with the patient’s airway soon after the induction of anesthesia.  The oral airway was inserted to assist the patient’s breathing, and the amount of oxygen flow was increased to help with the falling oxygen saturation.  Despite the increase in the amount of oxygen flow, the CRNS reported transient desaturations and reported repositioning the pulse oximeter numerous times throughout the procedure.

The patient developed bradycardia, which culminated to intubation and cardiac arrest, and the anesthesiologist’s presence was requested in the procedure room.  The anesthesiologist started chest compressions and resuscitated the patient.

The Board judged the anesthesiologist’s conduct to be below the minimum standard of competence given that he should have delayed the procedure, or postponed it for another date to allow time to obtain a functioning ETCO2 monitor.  He should also have transferred the patient to another procedure room that had a functioning ETCO2 monitor and implemented additional precautionary measures by closely monitoring the patient with since he elected to proceed without an ETCO2 monitor.

The Board ordered that the anesthesiologist pay a fine of $5,000 against his license and pay reimbursement costs for the case for a minimum of $6,841.07 and not to exceed $8,841.07.  The Board also ordered that the anesthesiologist complete five hours of continuing medical education in general anesthesia and complete five hours of continuing medical education in “Risk Management.”

State: Florida


Date: November 2017


Specialty: Anesthesiology


Symptom: N/A


Diagnosis: Post-operative/Operative Complication


Medical Error: Failure to properly monitor patient


Significant Outcome: N/A


Case Rating: 3


Link to Original Case File: Download PDF



Florida – Obstetrics – Obstetrician Unavailable During Labor With Fetal Heart Decelerations



On 1/24/2014 a 21-year-old female presented to a hospital with spontaneous rupture of membranes and meconium-stained amniotic fluid at about thirty-nine weeks of pregnancy.

Upon admission, the patient was placed on a fetal monitor, which documented variable decelerations of the fetal heart rate.  In response to the monitor tracings, an obstetrician ordered the administration of intravenous fluids.  Shortly thereafter, the obstetrician ordered the performance of an amnioinfusion.

Over the next couple of hours, the fetal monitor began documenting recurrent late fetal heart rate decelerations and loss of fetal heart rate variability, indicative of probable insufficient fetal oxygenation.  The obstetrician was notified of the recurrent late fetal heart rate decelerations and loss of fetal heart rate variability.

In response to the monitor tracings, the obstetrician ordered the rate of IV fluid administration increased.  Despite the monitor tracings indicating probable fetal distress, the obstetrician did not diagnose, or did not document diagnosing, fetal intolerance to labor and allowed the trial of labor to continue.

At some point in time between 6:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., the obstetrician decided to manage the trial of labor from outside of the hospital.  Based on the patient’s presentation, the obstetrician should have continued to manage the trial of labor, in person, at the hospital. The fetal monitor continued to document recurrent late fetal heart rate decelerations and a loss of fetal heart rate variability over the next several hours.  The obstetrician was notified of the recurrent late fetal heart rate decelerations and loss of fetal heart rate variability on multiple occasions during that time span.  Despite the monitor tracings indicating probably continued fetal distress, the obstetrician did not promptly return to the hospital to deliver the baby.

Shortly after midnight on 12/25/2014, the obstetrician was again notified of the recurrent late fetal heart rate decelerations and loss of fetal heart rate variability.  At 1:28 a.m., the obstetrician returned to the hospital, presented to the delivery room, and shortly thereafter delivered the baby.

The baby was in full cardiac arrest at the time of delivery.  Efforts to resuscitate the baby were abandoned after about 20 minutes.  The final diagnosis was stillborn.

The obstetrician did not dictate or write any progress notes during the trial of labor.

The Board judged the obstetrician’s conduct to be below the minimum standard of competence given that she failed to diagnose fetal intolerance to labor, manage the trial of labor, in person, at the hospital, and promptly return to the hospital and deliver the baby upon receiving continued reports of probably fetal distress.

The Board ordered that the obstetrician pay a fine of $5,000 against her license and pay reimbursement costs for the case at a minimum of $3,949.77 and not to exceed $5,949.77.  The Board also ordered that the obstetrician complete five hours continuing medical education in the area of obstetric medicine and five hours of continuing medical education in “Risk Management.”

State: Florida


Date: November 2017


Specialty: Obstetrics


Symptom: N/A


Diagnosis: Obstetrical Complication


Medical Error: Diagnostic error, Failure to properly monitor patient, Lack of proper documentation


Significant Outcome: Death


Case Rating: 2


Link to Original Case File: Download PDF



California – Obstetrics – Induction For A Patient With A Bishop Score Of 4 And Continued Pitocin Use Despite Fetal Heart Tracing Abnormalities



A 24-year-old female was transferred from a physician to an obstetrician.  The patient first saw the obstetrician on 6/24/2009, and she was due with her first child in July 2009.  Her patient chart listed her at 120 lbs and 4’0” tall, but when she came to see the obstetrician, she weighed 170 lbs.

The patient was seen by the obstetrician twice in June and every week in July until 7/27/2009.  The patient was scheduled to be induced 7/29/2009. There was nothing in the records about her bony pelvic exam or pelvic adequacy for vaginal delivery.  The obstetrician did not do an ultrasound. The patient was admitted to the hospital on 7/29/2009. There was no risk assessment, no estimate fetal size, no ultrasound ordered, and a Bishop score of 4.

The patient was started on Pitocin at 9:30 a.m. and had made no progress by 6:00 p.m. that evening.  The patient was allowed to rest, and the next morning, on 7/30/2009 at 7:30 a.m., Pitocin was started again.  During this time, it was noted that she had “reactive” fetal heart tracings. The nurses did not place an order for an internal fetal monitor.  When the fetal heart tones were low, the Pitocin should be turned off. If the mother keeps having contractions, the baby gets no rest, which is what likely occurred in this case.

At 8:18 p.m., she was only dilated 4-5 cm.  The patient had spontaneous rupture of the membranes with thick meconium noticed.  At 8:50 p.m., the patient was dilated to 8 cm, 0 station. There was no mention of a possible Cesarean section in the notes.  On 7/31/2009, a female infant weighing 9 lbs 5 oz was delivered using a vacuum because a shoulder dystocia was encountered. Unfortunately, the baby was deceased.

The Medical Board of California judged that the obstetrician’s conduct departed from the standard of care because he failed to estimate the fetal size, fetal lie, and pelvic adequacy.  The obstetrician also did not mention the application of a fetal electrode. This is important because the obstetrician did not know if the heart rate was coming from the mother or the baby; thus, an internal electrode would have been an accurate way to measure the baby’s heart rate.  Review of the fetal monitor strips showed back to back contractions and inadequate recordings. During labor and delivery, Pitocin should have been stopped in the contractions showed a low fetal heart rate and tachysystole (no rest between contractions). This patient was also a poor candidate for induction because she had a Bishop score of 4.  When the membranes were ruptured with 3+ meconium, this should have alerted the obstetrician that the baby was somehow compromised and action by the obstetrician was required. Also, the patient was a transfer patient, but the obstetrician did not order lab studies or an ultrasound. There were many errors which lead to the untimely demise of this baby.  Had there been an estimate of fetal weight, or an ultrasound performed within 6 weeks of induction of labor, the obstetrician would have known the patient was having a big baby, and the obstetrician might have performed a Cesarean section.

The Medical Board of California issued a public reprimand and ordered the obstetrician to complete a clinical competence assessment program.

State: California


Date: November 2017


Specialty: Obstetrics


Symptom: N/A


Diagnosis: Obstetrical Complication


Medical Error: Failure to examine or evaluate patient properly, Failure to order appropriate diagnostic test, Failure to properly monitor patient, Improper treatment, Improper medication management


Significant Outcome: Death


Case Rating: 4


Link to Original Case File: Download PDF



Washington – Internal Medicine – Proper Monitoring Of Thyroid Dysfunction And High Blood Pressure



Beginning in June 2014, a physician began treating Patients A and B for thyroid dysfunction and Patient C for high blood pressure. The physician communicated with Patient A and B through phone consultation and met Patient C in social situations and during at least two office visits. The physician reviewed previous lab work on thyroid functions for Patients A and B. The physician based Patient C’s treatment upon his physical observation of her conditions, two Zytoscans (device that measures electrical currents in the skin), and taking her blood pressure. Patient A and B’s lab work indicated both patients having lower than normal thyroid function. The physician started both Patients A and B on a thyroid hormone supplement. He prescribed medication commonly used for treating high blood pressure for Patient C based upon his observations, oral reports of Patient C, and the Zytoscans. The physician failed to do lab work, took minimal chart notes, and did not schedule follow-up examinations for Patients A, B, or C.

For several months, the physician continued prescribing for Patients A, B, and C without ever seeing the patients in person for further work up. The physician’s interactions with Patients A and B were solely over the phone, while the physician notes state that he had two office visits with Patient C. The physician did not order thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) testing to further verify if continuing the thyroid hormone supplement would be appropriate in managing Patient A and B’s conditions.

In June 2015, Patient A presented to another provider with concerns of heart palpitations. Patient A told the provider he noticed the palpitations reduced when he reduced his thyroid hormone supplement dosage. During this consultation, Patient A disclosed his treatment with the physician which alerted the provider to have Patient A’s TSH levels checked. Patient A’s lower than normal TSH result prompted the provider to immediately begin weaning Patient A off of his thyroid hormone supplement.

Patient B also presented to the same provider in June 2015. At her visit, Patient B presented with a rash on her chest which she had for over a month. The new provider assessed the rash being unrelated to her treatment with the physician; however, due to her receiving similar treatment as Patient A, the provider had Patient B’s TSH level tested. Patient B’s results indicated her TSH level was below the normal range.

On 8/26/2015, the physician saw Patient C for what he thought was a urinary tract infection. The physician first prescribed Keflex but changed it to ciprofloxacin based upon the results of a Zytoscan. Caution is required when giving ciprofloxacin to patients with hypokalemia.

On or about 9/9/2015, Patient C presented to the hospital emergency department where she was diagnosed with significant hypokalemia (lowered levels of potassium in the blood) and hyponatremia (lowered levels of sodium in the blood) which caused Patient C to suffer fatigue and heart palpitations. Patient C went immediately from the emergency department to a new care provider. After an oral interview with Patient C, the new care provider learned that Patient C was taking a number of medications prescribed by the physician. The new care provider attempted to contact the physician a number of times to obtain the physician’s chart notes, lab studies, and other medical records for Patient C but was unsuccessful. Patient C told her new care provider that the physician had been giving her medications for a number of years. She stated, “I tell him what I need.” In the physician’s response to the Commission, he stated that “if [Patient C] called me to have a prescription filled, I would do that for her.”

The Commission stipulated the physician reimburse costs to the Commission and write and submit a paper of at least 2000 words, with references and annotated bibliography, regarding Washington State rules for physicians forming and maintaining patient/physician relationships, the differential diagnosis of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, the proper monitoring of electrolyte levels for patients with high blood pressure, and the importance of complying with Commission sanctions.

State: Washington


Date: November 2017


Specialty: Internal Medicine, Family Medicine


Symptom: Palpitations, Rash


Diagnosis: Endocrine Disease


Medical Error: Failure to follow up, Failure to properly monitor patient, Improper medication management


Significant Outcome: N/A


Case Rating: 1


Link to Original Case File: Download PDF



Virginia – Psychiatry – Adjusting Lithium Dosage Based Only On Patient Symptoms



A psychiatrist increased and decrease a patient’s lithium dosage based on the patient’s symptoms.  She did not test the patient’s lithium blood serum level.

On 8/28/2015, the patient was admitted to a hospital for lithium toxicity.  The psychiatrist stated that lithium blood serum levels for long-term lithium patients should be tested at least annually, but also at any time a patient complains of adverse side effects.  The psychiatrist admitted her failure to test the patient’s lithium levels and stated that it “was an inadvertent oversight for which [she] is remorseful.”  The psychiatrist reported that following the patient’s hospitalization for lithium toxicity, she reviewed the charts for her other patients on lithium and determined if they needed testing for lithium blood serum levels.

She provided evidence that she completed 99 hours of CME in psychiatry in 2015 and 58 credit hours of CME in psychiatry in 2017.  She provided a spreadsheet that she created for use in monitoring her patients on lithium.  She was reprimanded by the Virginia Board of Medicine.

State: Virginia


Date: October 2017


Specialty: Psychiatry


Symptom: N/A


Diagnosis: Drug Overdose, Side Effects, or Withdrawal, Psychiatric Disorder


Medical Error: Improper medication management, Failure to properly monitor patient


Significant Outcome: N/A


Case Rating: 2


Link to Original Case File: Download PDF



Florida – Internal Medicine – Failure To Justify Suboxone Prescribing Practices



From 7/8/2011 to 8/13/2015, an internist treated a 37-year-old female with an opioid dependency for seven years with Suboxone therapy.  During the treatment period, the internist prescribed the controlled substance Suboxone to the patient on one or more occasions.  During the treatment period, the internist failed to substantiate, by test or positive exam, the patient’s history of opiate use to justify the use of Suboxone.

During the treatment period, the internist did not obtain a history of substance abuse, including illicit substances, or a complete medical history from the patient’s prior healthcare provider to support his diagnosis of opioid dependence and opiate withdrawal.

During the treatment period, the internist inappropriately diagnosed the patient, as his physical examination of the patient failed to indicate clinical opiate withdrawal symptoms, to help support his diagnosis of continuous opioid dependence and opiate withdrawal.

During the treatment period, the internist failed to perform tests, including screening for hepatitis B and C, complete metabolic panel, and complete blood count, to completely assess the patient’s condition.

During the treatment period, the internist failed to completely and accurately maintain medical records that justify Suboxone therapy as a proper course of treatment.

During the treatment period, the internist failed to document a clear treatment plan and time frame for detoxification, and/or thoroughly educate the patient about additional recovery.

During the treatment period, the internist failed to perform and/or maintain records of frequent urine toxicology for the patient to prevent noncompliance, dependence, addition, or diversion of controlled substances.

During the treatment period, the internist failed to document, incorporate in the medical records, or comment on all urine toxicology screens performed on the patient on one or more occasions.

During the treatment period, the internist failed to include all logs of prescriptions within his electronic medical record (“EMR”).

During the treatment period, the internist did not pursue, or document pursuing, psychological counseling, prescription drug monitoring (“PDMP”) and follow-up urine toxicology screens to guide optimal therapy.

It was requested that the Board order one or more of the following penalties for the internist: permanent revocation or suspension of his license, restriction of practice, imposition of an administrative fine, issuance of a reprimand, probation, corrective action, payment of fees, remedial education, and/or any other relief that the Board deemed appropriate.

State: Florida


Date: October 2017


Specialty: Internal Medicine


Symptom: N/A


Diagnosis: Drug Overdose, Side Effects, or Withdrawal


Medical Error: Failure to properly monitor patient, Failure to order appropriate diagnostic test, Failure of communication with patient or patient relations, Improper medication management, Lack of proper documentation


Significant Outcome: N/A


Case Rating: 1


Link to Original Case File: Download PDF



Vermont – Family Practice – Oversight In Anorexia Nervosa Monitoring



A patient was treated by a family practitioner from May 2012 to September 2012.

On the first office visit, the patient presented with symptoms and behaviors that met the DSM-IV criteria of anorexia nervosa, as well as the National Institute for Mental Health criteria of Pediatric Acute Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS).  The patient’s medical records from the patient’s prior primary care physician included a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa and a prior recommendation for inpatient mental health treatment for anorexia.

The family practitioner made the following diagnoses:  systemic inflammatory syndrome with multi-systemic symptoms and marked neuropsychiatric dysfunction with probable underlying infectious triggers; PANS (Pediatric Acute Neuropsychiatric Syndrome); and probable PITANDs (Pediatric Infection-Triggered Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders).  Anorexia nervosa was not documented as a primary or differential diagnosis.  The family practitioner indicated that he considered the possibility of a purely behavioral syndrome like anorexia nervosa, but felt that the patient’s anorexia was “part of a more complex multi-system picture.”

The family practitioner based his diagnosis on the patient’s history and symptoms meeting the diagnostic criteria for PANS, testing positive to three infectious agents, and an initial response positive response to PITANDs treatment, in addition to a lack of positive response to anorexia nervosa focused management with the patient’s prior primary care physician and other consultants.

The family practitioner saw the patient on three occasions over a four month period, which the Board believes is inadequate for management of anorexia for an adolescent.  The family practitioner relied on his nurse to call the patient on weekly updates and weight checks.

In addition to three office visits, the family practitioner’s treatment included ordering numerous blood tests, and the prescribing of medications, antibiotics, herbal supplements, and vitamins for the infection etiologies and the inflammatory conditions.  However, he did not prescribe any medications for the treatment of anorexia nervosa. While the family practitioner believed that the patient was being treated by his primary care physician, this was not confirmed with any other provider, and the family practitioner did not communicate directly with any other provider beyond sending his initial office visit note and lab results to the patient’s primary care physician.

The Board judged the family practitioner’s medical records and communication with the patient’s primary care physician concerning his treatment of the patient were inadequate. The family practitioner’s office notes did not document past surgical and family history, temperature, height, BMI calculation, and growth curve charting.

Based on review of the family practitioner’s medical records concerning his treatment of the patient and the documentation of his communication with the patient’s parents, it appears that the family practitioner did not clearly explain his role in the patient’s care to the patient’s parents until the end of his treatment.  Is it possible that the patient’s parents believed that the family practitioner had taken over the role as the primary care physician and was actively managing the patient’s care.

The family practitioner’s position was that he believed that he was participating in the care of the patient in the role as a consultant to his primary care physician and that the patient’s primary care physician was concurrently monitoring the patient.  With the exception of the provision of his initial office note and lab results, the family practitioner did not communicate with the patient’s primary care provider during the course of his treatment.  After sending his initial note and lab results, the family practitioner did not communicate with the patient’s primary care provider or any other medical professionals until the patient had an acute worsening of the condition on 9/13/2012.

The Board judged that the family practitioner failed to appropriately monitor, manage, and maintain comprehensive medical records on a juvenile patient with a severe eating disorder.

The Board ordered that the family practitioner be reprimanded, complete one hour of continuing medical education on cognitive bias, and that he shall only practice medicine in a structured, group setting for a period of three years.

State: Vermont


Date: September 2017


Specialty: Family Medicine, Psychiatry


Symptom: Weight Loss


Diagnosis: Psychiatric Disorder


Medical Error: Improper treatment, Failure of communication with other providers, Failure of communication with patient or patient relations, Failure to properly monitor patient, Lack of proper documentation


Significant Outcome: N/A


Case Rating: 1


Link to Original Case File: Download PDF



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