Ten Strategies for Coping with a Malpractice Lawsuit

JULY 08, 2016
Jeannette Y. Wick, RPh, MBA, FASCP

Approximately 60% of physicians in the US will be sued for malpractice, research and statistics have found. In an article published online in The Permanente Journal, Dr. Audrey Sheridan, offered 10 strategies for surviving a malpractice lawsuit – strategies she developed from experience.
1.Resist isolation. Physicians should not be ashamed to look for help. While attorneys will recommend discussing the case with no one, attorneys can also direct physicians to safe places to vent (e.g., therapists). Protected conversations vary from state-to-state, so physicians should consult their attorneys.

2.Draw on strengths. Dr. Sheridan reminds physicians that they have survived many obstacles – medical school, residency, etc. – and she encourages them to use the tools they have developed in the past.

3.Reject negative thought processes. Rather than locking into a negative though process, Dr. Sheridan recommends physicians think positive thoughts. A link in the article to a gratitude exercise may help.

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