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Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 100009
Experience:  Years of experience in running a medium sized law firm.
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I am a physician at a community clinic. I resigned giving them

Customer Question

I am a physician at a community clinic. I resigned giving them 2 weeks notice. The agency is warning me that if I do not stay until they have a good follow-up plan for my patients that I will be responsible for patient abandonment despite the fact that I gave the clinic two weeks notice and that my understanding was that the responsibilities of patient care belong to the clinic not me not me. Am I stuck working in the clinic until they find adequate coverage, and what does adequate coverage mean? is it a full-time doctor or is it other doctors in the agency who can provide minimal coverage like writing prescriptions and emergency situations?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ely replied 8 months ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. That is simply not true. There is no such thing as "patient abandonment" in civil or criminal law. A physician has no duty to treat, unless he runs a clinic that receives money from the government and there is a life or death emergency (EMTALA).Ergo the clinic's claim is pure malarkey. Otherwise, the clinic is responsible itself to find another physician. No one can "force" a physician to work or do follow ups. So no, someone in your situation is not stuck and can leave at any time. A physician bears no responsibility to keep seeing patients until the clinic finds a replacement. I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Well, I know there is a responsibility not to abandon your patient when you are in private practice people have been sued for malpractice and 1. If you decide to stop treating a patient after you establish a patient dr. Relationship you have to provide treatment until there is adequate handle to another position.My question here is that given the responsibility of a doctor when he establishes a patient client relationship am I also responsible for finding appropriate hand off if I am simply working for the clinic.The reason I am following up is that I am definitely sure that there is such a concept of patient-doctor relationship and responsibility for abandonment in medical malpractice law
Expert:  Ely replied 8 months ago.
Hello, What state is this in, please?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
New York. But the concept of malpractice in patient abandonment is throughout all states and there have been large amounts rewarded for this
Expert:  Ely replied 8 months ago.
Thank you. "The requisite elements of proof in a medical malpractice [action] are (1) a deviation or departure from accepted practice, and (2) evidence that such departure was a proximate cause of injury or damage" (Amsler v Verrilli, 119 AD2d 786; see, Bloom v City of New York, 202 AD2d 465). There is no duty to continuing to see a patient. The duty only extends to a life/death emergency situation for a clinic that falls under EMTALA. With all due respect, someone in your situation may be exaggerating the duty here. There is no duty to continue to see non-emergency patients that come in for follow ups. "My question here is that given the responsibility of a doctor when he establishes a patient client relationship am I also responsible for finding appropriate hand off if I am simply working for the clinic." Ethically? That is debatable. I cannot tell you what to do.Legally? Based on the proposed facts, the answer is no - one does not arguably have this duty. Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.