We’ve been working for doctors by defending them against charges from the Iowa Board of Medicine relating to incompetence and violating community practice standards that are less than clear. These are not easy cases to defend; they are challenging. We are adding content to our website describing the experience so the next doctor has something to read that can help them understand how our experience will translate to theirs.
These somewhat challenging cases require an understanding of medicine, medical terminology, procedures, normal complications, complication rates, medical standards, practice norms and normalized informed consent discussions between doctor and patient. Some cases deal with moral issues and professional boundaries. Some just frankly confound us as to why they were even brought. Others confound the doctor charged who becomes more and more isolated as the case drags on.
The Iowa Board has doctors at the University of Iowa who review medical records in cases that some to their attention and which they believe warrant further attention. The Board has seemingly unlimited resources and power that dwarfs a doctor’s resources and ability to fight back.
Doctors having charged hundreds of dollars an hour to give depositions that help their patients receive few breaks from lawyers on the fees they charge. And at a time when your income may drop due the public nature of these charges, it’s no time to squander cash flow with costs of defense that can run $25,000 to $75,000.
Once they are on your case and file charges, your world will be turned upside down in more ways than you can anticipate. You will start to feel isolated from everyone in your profession. You will not want to publicly discuss the charges, nor should you, but that will only confound your sense of isolation and loneliness. You will need to find experts and may not be happy with what they tell you. You will question everything that is happening to you and that you do and did in the instances under review. This sense of loneliness is one of the most difficult aspects of defending doctors with charges being brought by the Iowa Board of Medicine. It is for all practical purposes real and palpable.