Attorneys Respond to Medical Professional Liability FAQs on Diagnostic Test Follow-up

During the course of a year, the attorneys at Fager Amsler Keller & Schoppmann, LLP, counsel to MLMIC Insurance Company, handle approximately 5,000 questions from policyholders on professional liability, risk management and healthcare law. Frequently, the questions asked by healthcare professionals involve requests for legal guidance on diagnostic test follow-up.

Here, we’ve paired the FAQs on medical professional liability related to informed consent with the attorneys’ responses.

What is my responsibility or liability if a patient fails to have a laboratory or radiological test performed or to keep an appointment with a specialist?

There is a duty imposed upon the attending doctor to follow up on all tests and consultations he/she has ordered. The failure to do so could lead to a delay in diagnosis or misdiagnosis of a serious disease. The physician should follow up first by telephoning the patient or the consultant’s office and then by writing a letter to the patient. These efforts should be documented in the chart.

The attorneys of Fager Amsler Keller & Schoppmann, LLP (FAKS) perform thousands of hours of professional liability services per year. They are uniquely qualified to assess medical-legal issues and provide counsel to minimize liability exposure. MLMIC policyholders can reach 24/7 legal support services by calling (855) FAKS-LAW or emailing For more information about these services, offered exclusively to MLMIC policyholders, visit our web page on Legal 24/7.