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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How Many Times Have I been Sued. Malpractice Lawsuits.

Recently I came across an article by Paul Levy, it mentioned a support system among doctors at Brigham and Women Hospital. This support system is in place to meet the physician who is being sued. They provide counseling and assist in anyway they can. I also received a report from a very good friend of mine, an interventional cardiologist Dr Raxwell about percentage of lawsuits among different sub-specialties.

When I initially moved to Florida, I was asked to meet a hospital chief of staff. During the interview process he asked me how many times have I been sued,  I replied none. He smiled and said “you want to say that you have not been sued, yet”.  

I have seen a large number of doctors struggling with insurance and lawyer issues that they can hardly live a normal life.  A colleague of mine was sued over a lipid-lowering drug by a 75 year old lady,  who had been her patient for over a decade. She asked the lady why? The patient said that she still likes her, insurance was going to award her the money that she thinks would not affect the doctor and …….. She is almost 80 year old and  likes to go to casinos.

Here is the report from AMA physician practice survey.

You should specially look at cardiovascular surgeons, 75% of them have been sued, 56% for the second time, almost 15% in the last 12 months and finally their number of claims per 100 doctors were 297%. WOW….

Knock on the wood, I still have not been sued… as of yet!  So what do you think. 


Raj said...

Malpractice system remains a flaw in the healthcare system. I am sure someday it will be fixed.

Interesting incident informed by a colleague

Help Thy Neighbor

Neighbor's wife comes and reports her husband is having severe chest pain. Cardiologist neighbor gives an Aspirin and says he should go to the hospital immediately and as a good neighbor take them to the hospital. Patient doesn't survive the heart attack. Neighbor sues the cardiologist. Because cardiologist should have called 911 and patient should have been brought to the hospital by ambulance and by bringing them to the hospital in his car he delayed the care for patient.

We are all just human

Heather said...

After my first husband died from a botched transplant (botched being the medical term my physician co-workers used after the fact) I was told early/often/repeatedly to sue the MD.

I chose not to. The hospital took a risk on my husband and was the first hospital in a 200 mile radius even sort of willing to consider him. The MD who ultimately performed the surgery was out-voted by his two group members about taking my husband. He told us in interview that he couldn't do it. The other MDs believed that they could.

I still wish he would have taken a new set of pictures before he got out the chest saw, but he didn't.

Looking for a transplant facility was AWFUL and I feared that in suing him the group would be reluctant to take on another complicated case.

I just hope that the MD will call a confident collegue next time.

Irfan said...

Heather, I am sorry to hear your story. I am all for accountability and this is one way we can make this process work better, my issue is pointless law suits I see every day.
Thank you for sharing.