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Was your doctor impaired while treating you?

While being a doctor can be highly rewarding, it is no secret that the job is also stressful. Doctors often have to work long shifts, sacrificing spending time with their friends and family members. Doctors are highly skilled, but they are only human. They are susceptible to abusing substances just like other people. In fact, they may be at higher risk sometimes because they have easy access to drugs.

While doctors deserve sympathy and help for substance abuse issues, impairment should not come at the expense of your treatment. Could your doctor have been impaired when they saw you?

Noticeable signs

It can be difficult to tell if someone is impaired by drugs. However, there are some signs to look out for. These include:

  • Enlarged pupils or glassy eyes
  • Hyperactivity
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Trembling
  • Loss of balance and coordination

If you notice any of the above or anything unusual about your doctor compared to previous visits, they may be struggling with drug use.

In terms of alcohol, some of the signs of abuse are similar to drug use. Nonetheless, some important factors to look out for include:

  • The smell of alcohol
  • Slurred speech
  • Slow movement
  • Poor motor functions
  • Forgetfulness

If your doctor is noticeably late for an appointment without an explanation, or leaves the appointment during the middle of a session, this is also something to look out for.

If you suspect that your doctor was impaired when they saw you, and you suffered harm as a result, then this likely amounts to medical malpractice. Seek legal guidance to find out more.