I recently gave birth at a local Maryland hospital and a medical student performed some of my exams.

I wasn’t really given a chance to object to a student performing these tests, and didn’t feel comfortable with this happening. Do patients have the right to decline exams from medical students? I’m afraid a medical student might make more mistakes.

The answer to this question is “most definitely, yes!”

Patients always reserve the right to request a medical student not observe, participate, or conduct their medical procedures or exams. In many cases, such instances wouldn’t be a problem because a student’s work is supposed to be supervised and then rechecked by a trained, experienced, and qualified medical professional. These same professionals should also identify the medical student who would like to observe, participate, and learn from, your medical procedure, as well as get your permission before any such care takes place.

However, there are cases where medical students are left unattended. When this happens, a lack of knowledge and experience can cause serious medical mistakes to happen. These mistakes may include:

  • Incorrectly performed procedures or exams.
  • Incorrectly documented medical information like vital statistics, patient medical history, prescription names and dosage needs, patient name and other identification information.
  • Misinterpreting monitor readings.

In your case, because you were at the hospital having a baby, this could not only affect your health and safety, but also your baby’s well being. In situations involving labor and delivery, every detail matters to ensure a safe, complication-free birth. Even a high blood pressure reading can put you and your baby’s lives in jeopardy during labor and delivery.

If you have any questions or doubts about a medical student’s qualifications or ability to safely assist in your medical treatment, you have every legal right to decline their participation. Otherwise, you might find yourself suffering because of an unfortunate medical mistake.

If you have any questions or concerns about a medical injury you’ve experienced, and believe that a medical student may have been part of the problem, please feel free to contact us today to learn more about your legal options.

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