The NFLPA has growing concerns with San Diego Chargers team doctor Dr. David Chao because of his medical history, but three independent physicians reviewed Dr. Chao’s work and decided that he was suitable to be the team doctor. Despite the findings from the three physicians, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith is concerned with Dr. Chao’s medical malpractice history and seems uneasy about his standing as a team doctor in the league.
“The fact is that despite having previous malpractice liability judgments against him, neither the Chargers nor the NFL initiated an inquiry or provided any oversight of the doctor the team selected to provide care for our players,” Smith said.
“The NFLPA will take every step to hold the NFL and its member clubs accountable to provide the care that they are mandated to provide/ Dr. Chao’s previous medical liability issues only increases our desire to engage in a thorough and comprehensive credentialing process to determine which physicians are providing care to our players and how they were selected by the teams.”
Dr. Chao has been accused of negligence and failure to maintain adequate medical records and hit with an order to pay $5.2 million to a former patient in a malpractice suit.
Smith would like to see a change in how teams choose their doctors and it is easy to understand why he would have concern in this specific case. For now, Dr. Chao remains the Chargers team doctor, but this sounds like a situation that could carry on for a lengthy amount of time.