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I Don't Know if I Will Survive This!
Aftermath of Litigation - Distress
What Defendants Can Say
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The Litigation Experience
   The Interim: Between the
       Event and the Lawsuit
   An Outline of the Process
   The Summons
   Before We Begin
   Demeanor and Behavior
       of Sued Physicians
   The Deposition
Recommended Reading
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Coping With Litigation

Coping With a Medical
Malpractice Suit
Coping With LitigationLearn how and why physicians react to an accusation of malpractice and the range of strategies they can use to diminish the emotional disequilibrium that accompanies this experience.

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MISSION: The Physician Litigation
Stress resource center is a central clearinghouse and resource for physicians and other health care professionals who are interested
in the stress associated with
medical malpractice litigation and
in the changing climate of malpractice litigation. This site provides lists of articles and books in the medical and popular literature as well as lists
of links to other sites that may offer support to physicians.

The Toll...

You don’t have to go through malpractice litigation alone.
Support is available. Watch the video.

The toll medical malpractice litigation takes on the physician, dentist and other health care professionals is the untold story in many medical malpractice cases. As the media describe the plight of patient-plaintiffs and decry the escalating costs of litigation, the involved practitioners are left to cope with emotions that may range from pain and sorrow to shame and hopelessness.

It is normal to experience emotional distress such as anger, insomnia, and/or irritability after an adverse event and/or lawsuit. Despite our best efforts, we remain subject to unwanted intrusive thoughts and emotional reminders of the event. We often make conscious efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings or conversations about these events and avoid persons and places that once again place us in similar circumstances. Such reactions may linger before gradually dissipating. Research has shown, however, that when we are able to gradually "emotionally engage" in the event, we can more effectively "work through" the experience and achieve equilibrium more quickly.

Some physicians named in medical malpractice suits have left or contemplated leaving the profession of medicine, some have found solace in drugs and alcohol, and some have contemplated suicide as an escape from the isolation they experience. Those most at risk are those who try to navigate the waters of a malpractice suit without support.

This website has been established to decrease the likelihood that any practitioner involved in or facing the threat of medical malpractice litigation has to do so alone. Founded by physicians, insurance, and legal personnel who have extensive experience with physicians and dentists coping with the emotional dimension of medical malpractice, the website exists to support these practitioners in professional crisis by offering them:

  • the recognition that a wide range of emotional responses to a medical malpractice suit is normal and natural.
  • guidance to the objective information they need not merely to survive but, more, to prevail over the litigation process.

This site is not meant to replace either the one-on-one professional counseling that may be indicated in some situations or the support groups offered by some medical malpractice insurance carriers and ad hoc groups. It does, however, offer the physician a resource for gathering information about what to expect, how to cope, and when to seek help.


The Physician Litigation Stress Resource Center has compiled a bibliography of articles and recommended books that physicians, dentists and other health care professionals may find useful as they traverse the difficult territory of adverse events, their aftermath, and the litigation that may follow.

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DISCLAIMER: The content of this website is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered risk management, medical, or legal advice. The articles, bibliographies, and other resources contained herein represent the views of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of any member of the Advisory Group. This website is not endorsed by the American Medical Association or any other professional organization. You should consult your attorney, risk manager, or other advisor for specific advice regarding any of the issues discussed in this website.
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