Surviving a Med Mal Lawsuit: What Happens Next?

Side Note: For many people, a job is just a job. But for physicians, being a doctor is not only their career, it is what they have trained most of their lives for, made considerable personal and financial sacrifices for, and it is often a large part of their identity. Thus, it is no surprise that being sued for med mal can be life-altering for a physician. While most physicians expect to be sued at least once in his or her career, when it happens, it can be much more devastating than anticipated. Being sued for med mal impacts a physician mentally, physically, emotionally and financially and it impacts his or her family in many ways as well.

The several physicians interviewed below describe how being sued causes one to question his or her value as a doctor, his or her choice career, in addition to second-guessing his or her decisions specifically related to the medical case. Being sued for med mal is especially difficult for physicians because they are often advised by their lawyers not to talk about the case and they often feel like a pariah among their peers (weather they are or not), so they don’t talk about it with colleagues. They feel they have to keep it to themselves.

And, even once the med mal lawsuit is over, the article below describes how it takes a long time for some physicians to recover from the experience. While some doctors return to the practice of medicine with renewed conviction and faith in their skills and career choice, others do not. Many physicians view patients differently, almost as adversaries, and their practice of medicine changes. Many physicians begin to practice more defensively and do almost obsessive note-taking in case of future medical malpractice litigation.

One of the best parts of the article below is that it lists several resources for physicians who are facing physician liability lawsuits. There is support out there. And, in addition to the resources below, provides our physicians with free access to a Certified Professional Healthcare Risk Manager (CPHRM). Our risk manager has over 30 years of professional risk management experience and can be a valuable member of your team, just for requesting a med mal insurance quote today.

We may be able to lower your med mal policy rates. Contact us today for a free quote.

Life after lawsuit: How doctors pick up the pieces
By Alicia Gallegos, from
May 16, 2011

Physician Character TraitsBefore dawn, nearly every morning in the days leading to his trial, Stephen Lutz, MD, woke abruptly, his mind filled with thoughts of the looming witness stand.

He would spend the next few hours lying in the darkness, going over the case again and again.

For the full article, click here.

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