New Mexico oncologist may lose license following complaints

An oncologist in New Mexico has been accused of providing subpar care for his patients.

What happens when a physician in New Mexico fails to properly care for a patient? In worst-case scenarios, that patient could die or suffer great harm due to an event such as a diagnostic error, medication mistake or failure to monitor. Additional medical bills and emotional distress may follow. An entire life could be derailed.

Legal remedies for that patient or his or her family may include filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor. Further, that doctor could lose his or her license. A recent license suspension highlights what that process looks like and serves as a reminder to patients to remain vigilant when seeking care.

Subpar care

According to a report from the Las Cruces Sun-News, a number of patients have filed complaints about the oncologist, whose care was in high demand. People stated that he gave them inaccurate information, such as a mistake in their cancer diagnosis, or that they had difficulty obtaining their medical records. In one case, the oncologist told a patient he had gone into remission. The patient sought a second opinion and discovered that in fact the cancer had moved into stage 3. That patient died in May of this year.

These complaints to the New Mexico Medical Board resulted in a license suspension in July of this year. The doctor requested several hearings, which will take place this fall. The result of these hearings could leave his license intact or could result in the license being revoked.

Accountability

License suspension is a necessary part of keeping patients safe. While a medical malpractice lawsuit may restore damages to one person or family, suspending a physician's license prevents harm from coming to others.

The New Mexico Medical Board is charged with the licensing and disciplining process for physicians. People who have a complaint about a doctor must submit that complaint in writing with the person's signature. That complaint remains confidential unless it results in a formal hearing.

Depending on the nature of the claim, the complaint may need to be filed with the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department. This would apply to complaints regarding occupational therapy, chiropractic care, pharmacists and other medical professionals.

Take action

One of the most important steps to take when someone believes a physician or facility has acted negligently is to do something about it. Complaints should be filed with the appropriate licensing agency and an attorney should be consulted. A medical malpractice lawsuit may recover compensation for damages such as medical costs, pain, funeral expenses and other items. Anyone who has concerns about this topic should speak with a medical malpractice attorney in New Mexico.