When is the Physician Liable?

Family practitioners, obstetrician-gynecologists, and internists are gatekeeper physicians with the first professional opportunity to detect breast cancer. When they fail, the results can be fatal.
The women most affected by delay in diagnosis tend to be young (under 40). They typically have relatively high socioeconomic status and are covered by private health insurance.
The typical scenario is as follows. The woman presents with a self-discovered mass that is painless. The doctor performs a physical exam and feels a mass but believes it to be benign because of the patient’s age. The doctor orders a mammogram, and the results are negative for abnormalities or malignancy, despite the palpable mass. The patient is diagnosed with fibrocystic disease, which is hormonally induced, and told she does not have cancer. Of course, she is tremendously relieved. The doctor does not recommend a biopsy or refer the patient for further consultation.
A delay of an average of 13 to 15 months precedes the ultimate diagnosis of breast cancer. When the diagnosis is eventually made, the cancer will be at a more advanced stage.1
In three studies of women with breast cancer diagnostic errors, over 80 percent of the women discovered their breast mass and then went to see a doctor.2

The failure of the physician to be concerned about the mass accounts for most of these errors. Many errors are attributed to the physician’s disbelief that cancer occurs in young women.3

Many women are well educated about this horrible disease. They are aware of breast self-examination and diagnostic tools like mammograms. They recognize that early diagnosis and treatment mean a greater likelihood of survival. Yet, when they discover their own breast mass, and their physician tells them not to worry because it is fibrocystic disease, which later turns out to be cancer, they become justifiably angry.

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Re-opening Safety Protocol Procedures Effective 9/17/2020

In an attempt to practice social distancing we will be limiting the number of patients in our waiting room at one time. Please arrive on time and without additional family members or friends. Our new schedule will be every 45 minutes giving us 30 mins for the exam and 15 minutes to clean up after patient leaves the office.

 

We are only seeing patients on days and times where the other doctors are out of the office.

 

If you are not feeling well the day of your appointment please stay home and do not come in. Call 714-363-5595 to cancel and reschedule your appointment. During this time we will not be charging for same day cancellations as long as you let us know in advance.

 

Prior to Appointment:

  1. Log on to our website at www.ocbreastwellness.com and access our appointment software by clicking SCHEDULE NOW to make sure your credit card information is updated properly in the system. We will not be handling credit cards or cash during your visit. IF you are unable to do this in advance we will have you read your credit card information to us rather than take your card to scan.
  2. Ask Questions prior to your appointment; there will be “minimal talking” during the exam(s). Call in advance if you have concerns or questions.

Upon Arrival:

 

  1. Come up to the door but do not come in until previous patient has left. A chair will be outside for your convenience.
  2. We will email you via DOCUSIGN your paperwork the day before your appointment.
  3. Bring only yourself, your keys, your cell phone & your credit card into the office. No purses, books, drinks or any other items will be allowed in the office.
  4. Please wear your mask into the office and keep it on at all times during the visit (completely covering your nose and mouth). If you don’t have one we will provide one for you.
  5. We will assess your temperature upon arrival. If your respiration is below 94 you will be sent home.

During Exam:

  1. The examiner will have the proper mask, safety goggles and gloves for protection.
  2. Remember limit talking during the breast exam. We will review your results post exam.
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