Peer Reviewed
Medicolegal matters

A pain in the back: difficult patient, difficult diagnosis

Nicole Kroesche, Walid Jammal
This is the first in a series of articles highlighting common medicolegal issues in general practice. Written by the claims and advocacy team at medical defence organisation Avant, the series is based on actual cases, with some details changed for privacy. Here, a patient’s history of drug-seeking behaviour distracts his GP from a rare physical problem.
Key Points

    General practitioners often report difficulties in managing patients who exhibit drug-seeking behaviour, and these difficulties are evident from the cases that present to medical insurers. Drug-seeking behaviour can be a distraction from underlying physical and psychological problems, sometimes with serious consequences for patients, as illustrated by the following case.

    Picture credit: © Bertlmann/iStockphoto.

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