Physician Checklist

The other parties to the litigation will scrutinize the treating physician, medical experts, diagnosis, and treatment provided. The following should be evaluated, and strategies to defend against any perceived improper diagnosis or treatment should be considered and prepared.


Physician Met the Standard of Care

[] Reviewed the patient’s medical history, including history of coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart failure, congenital heart defect, angina pectoris, chest pain, shortness of breath, or similar history

[] Evaluated the patient completely

[] Ordered the appropriate diagnostic tests and procedures (for example, ordered an angiogram, or other testing)

[] Determined the correct diagnosis

[] Provided the proper treatment

[] Obtained informed written consent to treatment

[] Prescribed or administered appropriate drugs or therapies

[] Monitored patient response to the treatment

[] Provided appropriate follow-up care

[] Made appropriate referral(s) to specialist(s), such as a cardiologist or a cardiovascular specialist


Proof of No Breach of Standard of Care

[] Facts showing no deviation of the standard of care given to patient

[] Expert testimony demonstrating no deviation from the standard of care


Proof of No Proximate Causation

[] Expert testimony that the physician’s or health provider’s acts were not a proximate cause of the patient’s injury


Patient Contributed to the Injury

[] Patient deliberately concealed or failed to disclose information about the patient’s cardiac history or a similar issue, including any prior diagnosis and treatment for cardiac defects, disorders, conditions, illnesses, or similar information

[] Patient refused to comply with treatment (for example, the patient did not take medications as prescribed)


Acts or Omissions by Other Parties May Have Been a Proximate Cause of the Patient’s Injury

[] Delays or errors by others in performing diagnostic tests ordered by the physician

[] Hospital’s failure to follow protocols, procedures, or mandated guidelines for emergency department or other health care

[] Expert testimony that another party caused the patient’s injury

[] Expert testimony that the physician’s or health provider’s acts were not a proximate cause of the patient’s injury


Patient’s Damages

[] Patient had no damages

[] Damages claimed by the patient can be shown not to exist


Experts Supporting the Health Provider Can Be Qualified as Experts

[] Experts can demonstrate their educational qualifications

[] Experts can demonstrate their professional qualifications


See: Contributory Negligence, Comparative Negligence, or Assumption of Risk, Other than Failing to Reveal Medical History or Follow Instructions, as Defense in Action Against Physician or Surgeon for Medical Malpractice, 108 A.L.R.5th 385; Defense of Medical Malpractice Cases, 16 Am. Jur. Trials 471.