David J. Goldberg, M.D., J.D.
Dr. Goldberg is Director of Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of New York and New Jersey, Director of Mohs Surgery and laser research, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and Adjunct Professor of Law, Fordham Law School.
Physicians must ensure hearing-impaired patients understand their options
Mr. Eye, who was hearing impaired, was to be scheduled for Mohs micrographic surgery. Unfortunately, before his surgery he became ill and did not recover, nor did he return to Dr. Skin's office for six months. Unfortunately, Dr. Skin's staff had forgotten about Mr. Eye's hearing impairment. They took his lack of response as senility consistent with his age. Dr. Skin chose to use only palliative treatment while watching the carcinoma invade Mr. Eye's orbit over the next year.
What is the standard of care when taking critical information from patients?
Dr. Surgery He recently performed a large excision and failed to ask his patient about medicine intake. The patient did not take any prescription blood thinners, but he did take high daily dosages of garlic and ginkgo. Unfortunately the patient had progressive postoperative bleeding, which led to volume loss and an ultimate CVA. A lawsuit was brought against Dr. Surgery. Will he lose this case based on negligence?
Examining exceptions to physicians' duty surrounding informed consent
After Dr. Scar diagnosed a basal cell carcinoma, the patient said, "Tell me nothing. Just get the thing out." When the patient was left with a scar after surgery, she filed a medical malpractice lawsuit alleging she was not given appropriate informed consent and was not warned about the scar. Will Dr. Scar lose the medical malpractice case?
How far does liability travel when a patient neglects to seek healthcare early?
Joe Skin was unable to afford a $100 fee to see a local dermatologist, and left a pigmented lesion untreated until a seizure from metastatic disease ended with him having multiple surgeries at a cost of $350,000 to taxpayers. Unfortunately, Mr. Skin died anyway from metastatic melanoma. But does his dermatologist have any liability?
Are doctors liable for the actions of a covering physician?
A patient brings a negligence cause of action against both her dermatologist and the covering physician. The basis of her case against Dr. Eye, her own personal dermatologist, is that he was in a "joint-venture" with the covering dermatologist. Is Dr. Eye, the operating dermatologist, liable?
Physician communication plays key role in dictating patient satisfaction
Patients have often complained that Dr. Speak has a tendency to not only rush them during office visits, but also to be condescending when speaking to them. Until two years ago he had never been sued. He is perplexed with this lawsuit, which has a peculiar twist. During the course of the negligence suit, Dr. Speak finds out that the plaintiff would never have brought the lawsuit if not for Dr. Speak's arrogance.
Can dermatologist practicing plastic surgery be found guilty of fraud?
Dr. Surgery recently expanded his surgical horizons and began performing abdominoplasties. His third patient became septic, and she now has permanent lung and kidney damage secondary to the sepsis. The patient has sued Dr. Surgery, contending that he fraudulently misrepresented himself as a plastic surgeon. Does his patient have a claim based on fraud?
EHR systems create new legal risks
Recently, Dr. EMR spent a significant amount of money to add a comprehensive electronic health records system to his office. He has been told such a system will lessen his medical legal liability. Some of his physician friends suggest EHR systems will increase, rather than decrease, liability. Who is right?
Laws mandate need-to-know for accessing medical files
Dr. Derm and his associates decided it was in the practice's best interests if he left. His access to network office materials should have been terminated Jan. 1, but it was not until Feb. 1 that it was done. In the meantime, Dr. Derm downloaded medical records of some of his former associates' family members.
In laser mishaps, manufacturers don't share physician's duty
Dr. Light has been in practice for 25 years. He has never considered himself a "cosmetic dermatologist." He makes the decision to learn more about cosmetic procedures. He feels that if he treads slowly and approaches the learning process of cosmetic dermatology the same way he approached medical dermatology, he can't go wrong.


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