Summary: Just because a doctor’s action or inaction fell below the standard of care does not mean that he or she was negligent.
I watched the first episode of “Monday Mornings,” a television series that was on TNT created by David E. Kelley. Mr. Kelley has created or been involved in various series including: (1) Ally McBeal; (2) Boston Legal; (3) Boston Public; (4) Chicago Hope; (5) Doogie Howser, M.D.; (6) LA Law; and (7) Picket Fences. This show involved five surgeons in a hospital and explored their professional and personal lives.
The reason I am writing a post on this episode is based on a scene involving peer review of one doctor’s case. The most common educational setting for this review and discussion is known as Morbidity and Mortality (“M&M”). This is where physicians discuss other doctors’ behavior or analyze an adverse event. The information gleaned during M&M is not discoverable in most states. The reason is to have open communication and enable doctors to learn from their mistakes and try to prevent future ones. Doctors are going to be less forthcoming with regard to errors they have made if what they say can be used in a medical malpractice case.