How do I report this mistake?
May 7, 2008 5:28 PM Subscribe
My oral surgeon took out the wrong tooth--now what?
posted by Meg_Murry to health & fitness (25 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In consultation, he said that of my four wisdom teeth, A, B, and C had to go, but D could stay in place. He said that C might be too difficult to reach at this stage of growth, and so we agreed on a plan where he would remove A, B, and, if possible, C. The morning of my appointment, I re-confirmed this plan with him.
Long story short, he took out A, B, and D. When I became aware of this mistake (that's the long part of the story, I can clarify if necessary), I spoke to him on the phone. He seemed surprised that I would object to being charged for the removal of that tooth, D. I reminded him of our consultation and of our conversation just moments before he put me under—my point was that we never, ever planned to remove D. He said he didn't have his notes from our consultation (despite supposedly having my file in front of him) and had seen a lot of patients since my surgery. He was rude, arrogant, and dismissive, implying that even if we hadn't planned on removing D, it was a legitimate charge since he had done the work. I didn't budge, so finally he relented and took the tooth off the bill.
I find this carelessness appalling. To be sure, the damage to me was minimal, but what about the next person? And while I understand that medical professionals risk opening themselves up for lawsuits by apologizing for mistakes, he was a real bully about it. I feel like there must be some procedure for reporting him to… what? A national association of some kind? A state board of oral surgery? A government agency? I'm in Illinois, and this was about four months ago if that matters.
I don't want to sue him, but I want this mistake to be recorded somehow. Any advice from people who have experienced similar mistakes or from medical/dental professionals would be great.