What is it like to be sued for malpractice?
Although many say “every physician gets sued,” and, “never to talk about it,” how does it affect doctors?
As I’ve written before, being sued for malpractice is a traumatically scarring experience. So much that up to 10 percent of doctors in this situation contemplated suicide.
George Hossfeld writes about his malpractice ordeal (via Dr. RW) in Emergency Medicine News (which, as the home of the infamous Jonathan Glauser rant, is becoming known for its rather provocative opinion pieces), saying doctors need to speak openly about their malpractice experiences. Doing so will de-stigmatize the stain that a malpractice suit brings, especially when doctors are found liable in only a minority of cases.
“Every opportunity to discuss our predicament should be an opportunity to expose it for what it is,” he writes. “We might find, and I predict we will, that most of us have been the target of meritless, painful accusations that have cost us energy, time, and self-esteem. Not a few bad apples, but the majority of our conscientious, diligent, committed colleagues. I’m sick as hell of it, and I don’t think we should take it anymore.”