Texas doctors who perform surgeries negligently may have to surrender their medical licenses permanently. Medical malpractice charges can be filed against medical professionals who have acted negligently in performing their medical duties. A neurosurgeon recently did so after his state medical board conducted an intensive 18-month investigation regarding his high rate of repeat spinal surgeries.

According to an analysis of Medicare claims data, the doctor’s high rate of multiple spinal-fusion procedures was close to 10 times the national average for surgeons who performed the procedure. The medical board found the doctor to have been repeatedly negligent and have engaged in dishonorable conduct. The doctor disagrees with this but willingly surrendered his license permanently. He will never be permitted to reapply for it.

The doctor has faced malpractice suits from over 30 patients for a variety of reasons such as performing unnecessary procedures on them. Many hospitals in the area are also facing suits for allowing the doctor to perform surgeries even though there were glaring signs that he was incompetent. The Journal is now working to make Medicare data available to the public because it is considered to be the best source for information on health care in this country.

Negligence on the part of medical professionals can lead to worsened medical conditions in patients and fatal medical errors. Courts will use testimony of experts in the field to determine whether the doctor followed the proper standard of care in the situation in question. If he did not, the courts will find him to have been negligent. Medical professionals found guilty of negligence can face serious consequences including losing their license to practice medicine. This will prevent unfit physicians from harming even more patients.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Doctor in Repeat-Surgery Probe Gives Up License,” John Carreyrou and Tom Mcginty, Oct. 11, 2012