Whenever you enter any of the hospitals in New York City, you bring with you the expectation that those treating you are highly trained and experienced. Yet how much would your outlook change if you knew that the provider taking care of you was a medical student? Throughout the country, countless healthcare facilities are affiliated with medical schools to help train the doctors of tomorrow. While it is widely understood that medical students and residents need real world experience in order to develop their skills, you might wonder if the hospitals where they learn produce more patient care errors?
According to Kaiser Health News, the answer to that question is yes. In fact, it reports that major teaching hospitals are 10 times more likely to report high rates of serious patient complications. Issues of medical malpractice typically come down to a question of whether or not the standard of care was met. The standard of care is a legal concept which establishes what should be expected from a professional practicing in a certain profession. With medical students, who are still learning their craft, some question what standard they should be held to.
Research of case results undertaken for the medical journal Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research shows that in a majority of instances involving malpractice claims against physicians in training, such providers are held to the same standard of care as specialty physicians. This may be due to the fact that, despite having less experience, their mistakes can produce the same devastating results.
You should know that teaching hospitals do not simply unleash inexperienced medical students on their patients. Such providers work under the eye of a supervising physician. That doctor could also be subject to liability should you be harmed by a medical student under his or her supervision.