Physicians in medical malpractice lawsuits are frequently their own worst enemy…
Put simply, the lawsuit triggers a state of anxiety bringing about atypical attitudes and behaviors. Physicians lose who they are as persons.
Medical Malpractice…a personal and professional assault.
When a physician is sued, it is an assault on his or her honor. This assault triggers Medical Malpractice Stress Syndrome (MMSS). It is for real. Its symptoms are very similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Even winning the case doesn’t protect the physician from being traumatized. One large reason for this is that physicians are prone to blame themselves, right or wrong, for bad outcomes. Also, the legal process magnifies feelings of self-reproach. Furthermore, the physician’s concern over loss of livelihood, loss of assets, reputation damage, loss of control, and lack of knowledge of legal proceedings heighten anxiety and stress. MMSS manifests both psychological and physical symptoms.
In this state, the physician is unable to hear the attorney’s advice, causing a breakdown of attorney-client communication. The attorney watches the physician make counter-productive decisions. Legal fees rise. Further, with the anxiety state interfering with the physician’s decision-making process, vulnerability to subsequent medical errors increase.
Successful Litigation Stress Coaching (SLSC) enables the physician-defendant to step out of anxiety into centered decision- making and grasp the tools necessary to ensure a better outcome to their case as well as increase personal overall well-being. The attorney is now dealing with a rational client who becomes an effective partner in the case.
As the physician-defendant reduces the effects of litigation stress with SLSC by regaining emotional balance, re-establishing centered decision-making, and restoring self-esteem, there will most likely be a diminishing risk of future claims.
Successful Litigation Stress Coaching will provide the tools which empower the physician-defendant to meet the challenges associated with a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Successful Litigation Stress Coaching will provide your company with:
- Likelihood of diminished risk of future claims
- Improved physician-patient communication
- Improved physician-attorney communication
- Decreased legal fees
- A contributing member of the legal team
- A more confident physician
- A more responsible physician-defendant
- A physician with appropriate expectations and entitlements
- Greater client satisfaction
- Increased physician well-being
- An enhanced corporate image
Rapid interventions aimed at reducing the effects of stress will decrease disability, restore self-esteem, diminish risk for future claims, and enable physicians to be “good” defendants.
West J Med. 2001
Jan; 174(1) : 55-58
Amednews reports, “A recent study found that doctors have about double the usual suicide rate to begin with, and major medical mistakes triple their suicide risk.”
On average, just 6 percent of doctors are responsible for nearly 60 percent of all malpractice payments. From 1991 to 2005, just 5.9 percent of doctors were responsible for 57.8 percent of all malpractice payments. Of the 5.9 percent, each doctor was found liable twice, while 2.3 percent were found liable three times, and 1.1 percent were found 4 times.
-Facts and Myths About Medical Malpractice