The Proctologist as a Medical Malpractice Expert Witness

Medically reviewed by: lacolon2016

The Proctologist as a Medical Malpractice Expert WitnessHaving the right medical experts on your side is often key in winning compensation or successfully defending a medical malpractice case involving a proctologist. Medical experts play an essential role in these cases, because the burden of proof in the United States is based on showing the doctor in question did not follow the protocols and procedures other doctors with similar training, expertise, and education would use. Enlisting the help of the right proctologist to aid with your case is important to understanding the protocol, as well as determining negligence and assigning liability.

They Should Be Knowledgeable About All Aspects of Proctology

“Proctologist” is another name for a colon and rectal surgeon. They undergo extensive training and are required to have expertise in all manner of gastrointestinal issues. They initially train as general surgeons, then receive additional training in working on the small intestine, colon, rectum, and anal canal. From hemorrhoids to endoscopy, they must be well-versed in all conditions and procedures dealing with the gastrointestinal tract. They are often double board certified by the American Board of Surgery and the  American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery. Many are members of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.

As medical malpractice expert witnesses, the most important part of a proctologist’s training and experience is that they can speak to the required standard of care in any situation. They have likely seen cases that are very similar, and they know how the doctor in your case should have proceeded. They can walk you through the steps to perform any endoscopy or colonoscopy procedure, diagnose any gastrointestinal, rectal, or anal ailment, or treat these conditions with medication or surgery.

Each individual case has its own complexities, of course, so your expert witness should have a good understanding of possible complications before, during, and after procedures and treatments. They will be able to explain the appropriate tests and treatment protocol for any given situation, no matter how complex. This is key since medical malpractice cases rely on expert testimony to explain the level of care the patient should have received based on their doctor’s training and experience.

Your medical expert witness can not only answer your questions and explain the best practices a competent proctologist should follow, but can go in-depth about how other proctologists would handle common challenges associated with the situation in question. They can speak at length about contraindications related to hemorrhoids, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and other colorectal concerns.

They Will Be Up-to-Date on the Latest Breakthroughs

Believe it or not, proctology is an ever-changing area of medicine. Regular advances through research trials and progress because of better technology mean the best practices associated with diagnosing, treating, and preventing colorectal diseases change all the time. Proctologists should keep up to date on the latest breakthroughs by reading peer-reviewed research, learning the newest techniques, and writing up their own cases for publication.

Staying up to date on their specialty plays a role in making sure each patient gets the highest standard of care possible. Your medical expert will stay current on the gold standard treatment as well as common alternatives, helping them understand the full range of options available for each patient they see and each case they review.

Standards in care continually move forward, and proctologists who do not invest the time and energy to keep learning and advancing in medicine risk providing a lower standard of care than their peers. Many medical malpractice experts are part of a large clinical institution, often a teaching hospital or clinic. This is an asset, as it virtually guarantees they will remain on the cutting edge of their field.

They Will Be Able to Look at the Case From Every Point of View

When you enlist the help of a medical expert for your case, they will likely want to begin by reviewing all the documents and going over the facts of the case. They will want to fully understand what happened, when, by who, and why. This is central in laying a strong foundation for helping you – and the court – understand the facts of the case.

They will look at all aspects of the patient’s care, from their initial complaint to each visit with the doctor, through their treatment. They will not only review the details of what went wrong but attempt to understand why the patient’s proctologist made the choices that were made, and how this led to further illness or injury.

Perhaps surprisingly, it is rare that medical malpractice cases are completely one-sided. In most cases, your medical expert will see some reasoning in the behavior of the treating physician even if that reasoning is based on a false assumption or a mistake was made. Only occasionally do we find that a physician acted in a way that defies all explanations.

This means most expert witnesses must do what they can to understand why the proctologist chose not to follow accepted medical practices, and explain it to you in clear, understandable terms. This allows you to see the strengths and weaknesses of your case, no matter if you represent the plaintiff or the defense.

Getting the Most From a Medical Expert Witness

In many ways, medical malpractice expert witnesses serve as translators in these cases. They not only decipher exactly what went wrong and why, but they explain it to attorneys, juries, and even the judge. No matter if you represent the plaintiff or the defendant, understanding the complexities of the case and what led to the alleged malpractice is key. Until you fully understand what happened, you cannot build a solid malpractice case or a strong defense.

The proctologist who serves as your medical malpractice expert witness not only has to understand the standard of care required for any test, diagnosis, treatment, or other procedure, they must be able to explain it in a way anyone can comprehend. Winning your case or defending your client depends on having a strong proctologist medical malpractice expert on your side, so it’s important to ensure you have the best available.