The Drawn Out Process of the Medical Lawsuit

Medical PhotographyBy PAULINE W. CHEN, M.D.

She was one of the most highly sought radiologists in her hospital, a doctor with the uncanny ability to divine the source of maladies from the shadows of black and white X-ray films.

But one afternoon my colleague revealed that she had been named in a lawsuit, accused of overlooking an irregularity on a scan several years earlier. The plaintiff suing believed my colleague had missed the first sign of a now rampant cancer.

While other radiologists tried to assure her that the “irregularity” was well within what might be considered normal, my colleague became consumed by the what-if’s. What if she had lingered longer on the fateful film? What if she had doubled-checked her reading before signing off on the report?

The Drawn Out Process of the Medical Lawsuit

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