A malpractice suit “winner”


Fam Pract Manag. 2001 Sep;8(8):13.

To the Editor:

I found “Coping With the Stress of Being Sued” [May 2001, page 41] very interesting. I was recently tried for malpractice and was one of the lucky 80 percent of physicians who “win.” Of course, there is really no such thing as winning in these situations, but vindication is possible.

One thing the article didn’t touch on was the considerable amount of time that passes between the initiating event, the summons and the trial (or settlement). My experience lasted five years from start to finish, including the three years that lapsed between the summons and the trial. Many sleepless nights compounded my irritability and made me less tolerant of patients – and in my case, residents as well. I discussed the situation in very general terms with my colleagues and residents so they understood what was occurring in my life. Now, I have prepared a presentation for residents so they can learn from my experience.

I hope this never happens again, but I have found it rewarding to be able to include in my licensure renewal and various insurance forms that I went to trial within the last year and won!


Send your comments to fpmedit@aafp.org. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. We cannot respond to all letters we receive. Those chosen for publication will be edited for length and style.


Copyright © 2001 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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