When a physician is sued for medical malpractice, more often than not they are surprised by the lawsuit. Many of these physicians may have suspected that the patient was injured by did not expect a lawsuit to be filed. There are multiple reasons a physician may be sued for medical malpractice, including:
- Failure to make a correct diagnosis,
- Delayed diagnosis,
- Failure to treat the illness, and
- Failing to obtain informed consent.
Being sued for medical malpractice has been described my physicians as horrible and the worst experience of their lives. Physicians can feel isolated as the lawsuits progresses as they have been advised not to talk about the case. It is important for physicians to have a support system with whom they can talk about their anger and their depression.
Facing a lawsuit can be very traumatic for a physician. Even being victorious in litigation does not protect the physician from the trauma. One reason for this is that physicians are likely to blame themselves for negative outcomes and legal claims magnify these feelings. These feelings can be intensified due to concern over the potential loss of their livelihood, loss of control, damage to their reputation, the loss of assets, and lack of knowledge with regards to the legal proceedings.
After a lawsuit, many of these physicians will return to practice. However, they will not find the same joy they had previously experienced in their work. Physicians can feel isolated, have a negative self-image, suffer from anxiety, depression, self-doubt, anger, and have difficulty concentrating.
This can affect future patients. Physicians can become more cautious by doing things such as order more tests. Another affect could be that the physician will view their patients as adversaries, destroying the collaborative relationship between physicians and patients. Physicians may also refuse to take on more challenging patients and cases.
Roughly sixty percent of doctors will be sued before they reach age 55. This does not mean that most physicians in the United States are bad doctors. Most physicians have the best interests of their patient’s at heart; however they can still make mistakes resulting in a patient’s injury.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.