Emergency physician WhiteCoat has been blogging a detailed account of his recently concluded malpractice trial at Emergency Physicians Monthly.
In 2007, pediatrician known as Flea live-blogged his malpractice trial. He shared his thoughts on the defense strategy and frank, unflattering opinions of the opponent’s legal counsel. The plaintiff’s attorney discovered the blog, confronted him during cross examination, and the case was settled the next day.
In these litigious times, there’s been a small uproar over why a doctor would risk blogging. One major difference this time is that the trial is over. The blog doesn’t reveal identifying details like names or dates.
Being sued is possibly the most traumatic professional experience a doctor can go through. Studies show that up to 10 percent contemplate suicide. Their ordeal is often shrouded in secrecy, isolating the physician when he most needs support. There is a great deal of value in sharing this experience after the fact — cathartic value for the physician who was sued, and value for others who may one day go through the same thing.
The medical and legal community are closely watching this for the unique insight into the much-maligned malpractice system — where many argue both sides come out the loser. Perhaps by bringing some of its flaws to light, we can begin reform.