Medical malpractice is when a health care professional harms a patient by making a mistake in diagnosis or treatment. It sounds simple, but a quick look beneath the surface shows it is much more complex.
The mistake must be outside the accepted practices of similar doctors with similar training, who are in the same medical community. A general practice doctor is not held to the same standards as a neurosurgeon.
The harm must be measurable. If, for example, the doctor made a diagnosis, then five minutes later during the same consultation with the patient realized the diagnosis was incorrect and decided a different diagnosis was appropriate, there was no quantifiable harm to the patient.