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Difference between bad bedside manner and medical malpractice

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2022 | Personal Injury

After an unsatisfactory experience seeking medical care in New York, many patients are left wondering whether they were a victim of medical malpractice or if it was simply a case of bad bedside manner.

Although these labels are similar and often go hand-in-hand, there is a difference between bad bedside manner and medical malpractice. If you have found yourself in this position, you’ll want to consider the outcome of your experience when determining whether to file a personal injury lawsuit for malpractice.

Defining bad bedside manner

Bad bedside manner involves situations in which healthcare providers do not show the necessary care and compassion toward their patients. Examples of poor bedside manner include:
• Being abrupt or rude during patient interactions
• Failing to involve patients in treatment decisions
• Rushing patients through appointments
• Appearing distracted when interacting with patients

The consequences of poor bedside manner can include lower satisfaction levels among patients and lower overall quality of care. However, this type of behavior does not necessarily constitute medical malpractice if it does not result in injury to the patient. It simply describes the behavior of the physician rather than the outcome of that behavior.

The factor that suggests malpractice

In contrast, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to uphold adequate standards and procedures, resulting in harm or injury to the patient. This might include diagnostic errors, incorrect treatment choices, medication errors, or other harmful behaviors that fall outside acceptable boundaries for the profession.

Unfortunately, the line between bad bedside manner and medical malpractice can be blurred. Bad bedside manner often leads to medical malpractice, and doctors who come across as rude or uncaring are sued for malpractice more often than compassionate physicians.

A key differentiator is whether a doctor is treating a patient poorly or a patient’s medical condition poorly. The former doesn’t always lead to the latter, but it can.