Med Mal Lawsuits' Emotional Impact on Surgeons

Surgeons Over Operating TableWe all know that med mal lawsuits have a huge impact on physicians. They can be extremely expensive, both in terms of cost for litigation and payouts and also because they frequently result in higher liability insurance costs. They also cost a lot in terms of a physician’s time. But, a more difficult cost to measure is the emotional impact med mal lawsuits have. But, a new study sheds light on the topic as it relates to surgeons.

The recent study in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons surveyed 7,164 surgeons to evaluate the impact med mal lawsuits have on their emotional well-being. The study was done by researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. The results were not that surprising to us. Of those studied, almost 25% experienced some kind of malpractice action within two years of the survey. The stress of the med mal lawsuit was found to be equal to that of other stresses in the surgeon’s life, including: research pressure, work and home problems, financial concerns and dealing with patients’ suffering and death. And, for the surgeons who recently experienced a med mal lawsuit, they also reported lower job satisfaction and were less likely to recommend their career to others. Read the press release for more details on how med mal lawsuits impact surgeons’ mental health including depression, and emotional exhaustion.

Med mal lawsuits can be devastating –whether you are a surgeon or not. We don’t need a study to tell us that. If you are sued, having the backing of a quality medical liability insurance company can make all the difference –both financially and emotionally. If you are in need of surgeon med mal coverage or want to see if you can save some money, don’t hesitate to contact us here at

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