Doctors Tell Medscape How They Survived Being Sued

A recent Medscape feature piece details what physicians go through as a result of being sued. “For physicians, getting sued is intensely personal,” reports Medscape. “The anxiety, anguish, depression, sense of betrayal, and shame it causes can last a lifetime.”

The article details the doctors’ perspectives of going through a trial and how the experience makes them think differently about – and even reconsider – careers in medicine. Alan Woodward, MD, an emergency department physicians and past president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, tells Medscape:

“Getting sued is a total affront to everything doctors have trained to do. It’s devastating to your whole professional psyche. Many doctors leave practice, retire early, practice defensive medicine and see patients as potential adversaries for the rest of their careers. While the case is pending, they don’t sleep or eat well and are often depressed. Even when doctors win in court, they’ve still lost. It may take 6 or more years from the lawsuit until trial. The doctors may have lost perhaps $100,000 in time away from their practices due to depositions and hearings. The lawsuit takes a huge toll on their personal and professional lives.”

In working with policyholders who are facing lawsuits, MLMIC sees the effects of this kind of stress firsthand. And while there’s no getting around the intense emotions involved, a solid support system makes a big difference, as the Medscape article mentions. This includes, of course, not only family, friends and colleagues but also skilled legal counsel and knowledgeable, attentive claims examiners who are readily available to answer questions.

We’ve written before about how quality legal counsel matters in the claims process. The Medscape article emphasizes the need for the kind of support, guidance and advice that the lowest cost carrier may not be able to provide. Beyond financial strength, MLMIC offers our insureds unsurpassed legal advice and many kinds of support, from attorneys to in-house peer physician reviewers to claims examiners. The Company is with policyholders every step of the way during this most stressful time.  In addition, the Company delivers many risk management programs and services to help instill confidence in policyholders as they continue to practice after being sued.