A bitter doc writes about the liability crisis

“There are two points that must be addressed. First is the ‘squeeze.’ As the Medicare budget disaster worsens, the government will threaten physicians more and more with penalties for ‘over-ordering’ and with charges of fraud. Doctors will be caught between threats from the government to order fewer tests, and patient and legal pressures demanding more.

The next point is a lack of proper description. My cowardly profession refuses to name the primary villains in the malpractice crisis: vengeful patients. Too many patients are willing to sue over a bad outcome or because they used to take a good drug that’s now pulled from the market. Trial lawyers, despicable looters though they are, are merely loaded guns, ready to be picked up and aimed by patients who are grieving, irrational, or plunderers themselves.

Each patient that I see inspires in me a single thought: How will he try to sue me today, and what can I do to foil him?”

✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers
✓ Get KevinMD's most popular stories