Taking a deeper look at frivolous lawsuits. “At the same time, Smarr says, unsubstantiated malpractice suits take a heavy emotional toll on physicians, because the doctor’s reputation and professional capabilities have been called into question. The resulting distraction adversely affects the delivery of healthcare, says Smarr, who believes that overzealous lawyers play a major role in exacerbating the malpractice crisis. ‘All you need to do is read the highway billboards and you know that plaintiffs’ lawyers are out there fishing for patients,’ he says.

Smarr also makes the point that physicians are being sued because patients have unrealistically high expectations regarding the effectiveness of new technology, and are apt to feel aggrieved when those expectations aren’t met. He cites mammography as an example of a contemporary screening technique that has become a major source of unfounded lawsuits.”

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