Q: I was just fired from my pulmonology group after a very bad fallout with the managing partner. I have been blocked from the EHR system so there is no way to reach patients. I was the only one in the group who did pediatric cases so my patients will actually be left high and dry by my sudden leaving. I am obviously concerned that I will be liable for abandonment because I never gave my patients notice and cannot provide the minimum 30 days of emergency care that my state requires but I am also concerned about their actual care.

Dr. MedLaw: Kudos for being concerned about leaving these patients in the lurch, but they were not your patients – they were the group’s patients.  It is now the group’s responsibility to make sure that all affected patients are informed that you will no longer be with the practice and to either provide an immediate adequate alternative for them within the group or to, given that you were more specialized, provide interim coverage from outside the group while they find someone new.

They are also responsible for maintaining all of the records that you created on these patients and for making those records accessible to those who want them.

In other words, only the group could abandon these patients, not you.

…and good luck with moving into a better phase of your professional life!