Surgical errors may be linked to doctor demeanor

Free Consultation713-781-5200

  • SuperLawyers General
  • MMDAF logo
  • Million dollar advocates badge 1 1
  • abota bdg
  • 233 2331196 top 40 under national trial lawyers top 100
  • logo av
  • whos who
Legally reviewed by:
Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr.
August 4, 2023

When a Texas resident goes for a surgical procedure, there is an implied trust that the doctor and his or her staff will pay strict attention to the task at hand and not make an egregious surgeon mistake that can lead to serious injury or death. It is an unfortunate truth, however, that these mistakes do happen and studies frequently try to determine why this is the case. An unusual discovery that has been made is that surgeons who are considered rude are more prone to making mistakes. According to the research, patients who are cared for by surgeons who receive the highest amount of complaints are 14 percent likelier to have patients with complications within 30 days of the procedure. This information comes from a study by Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
There are important factors to consider with this information. The study looked at data involving more than 32,000 patients treated in one out of seven different health systems. Eleven percent had a complication ranging from a stroke to sepsis to urinary tract infections and more. They linked the complications between the patient and complaints of rudeness or disrespect on the part of the surgeon. The complaints that were made appear to have led to the patients being reluctant to communicate openly with the doctor. It is also believed that the doctor’s behaviors proved distracting to assistants and other medical professionals. There was a difference of 14 percent between the adverse outcomes in patients who were treated by these doctors who were considered rude or disrespectful, but when looking deeper into the numbers and considering how many patients that includes, it came to 350,000 mistakes that otherwise might not have been made if the doctors were more affable.
When there is a surgeon mistake, it is important for the family members to be aware of it. Knowing about this potential link between surgeon behavior could elicit a realization in patients and family members that their surgeon was rude and this research has shown that mistakes happen more frequently with rude and disrespectful doctors. Regardless, those who have been victimized by a careless surgeon need to have a full investigation to sift through the information and find the cause. Discussing a potential lawsuit with an attorney experienced in pursuing cases related to surgical errors can help.
Source:, “Rude surgeons may also be most hazardous: 5 study findings to know,” Molly Gamble, Feb. 15, 2017

John A. Davis, Jr.


John A. Davis, Jr. and Steven R. Davis

August 4 2023

Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr. are experienced attorneys at Davis & Davis, a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice cases in Texas. With a deep commitment to justice that guides their ethical approach, Davis and Davis have dedicated their careers to helping victims of medical negligence. They and their team continue to advocate for clients, despite the challenges posed by Texas's cap on recoverable damages in malpractice lawsuits. Davis & Davis pride themselves on their extensive experience in the field and their readiness to meet clients across the United States.

✓ Fact Checked