Assistance with the Stress of Litigation
When faced with the harsh reality of a malpractice lawsuit, many physicians experience anxiety, anger, fear, depression, and other typical reactions which are collectively referred to as “litigation stress syndrome.” A medical malpractice lawsuit may take several years to resolve, and during that time these symptoms take their toll on the physician and their family. Fortunately, MIEC and its partners offer several services to help physicians successfully cope with the trauma of being sued.
Litigation Stress Committee of the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association
The Litigation Stress Committee of the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association (ACCMA) provides emotional and moral support to physicians who are experiencing stress related to medical malpractice or a medical board investigation. It is a confidential peer review committee of the ACCMA, and the supportive services offered by the program are intended to complement the support physicians receive from their personal legal counsel and professional liability insurance company. Importantly, the ACCMA’s litigation stress services are available to any physician practicing in any state.
Physicians who are being (or have been) sued for malpractice, defending accusations that they injured a patient, and/or facing an investigation by the state licensing board, may request a consultation with a member of the ACCMA Litigation Stress Committee by contacting the ACCMA directly at (510) 654-5383 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Committee member will then arrange a personal meeting or telephone consultation according to the physician’s needs. If a personal meeting is arranged, the subject physician is encouraged to have a spouse or family member participate.
For more information about the ACCMA Litigation Stress Committee, click here.
MIEC’s Peer-to-Peer Counseling Program
MIEC also offers a separate Peer-to-Peer Counseling Program to assist physicians with stress during the course of an active claim. The purpose of this program is to provide our members with an option to work with a physician peer who can offer support and advice to help them cope with stress of being sued for medical malpractice. While confidentiality and legal privilege cannot be guaranteed, certain protections are in place to promote the confidentiality of peer-to-peer discussions and the applicability of evidentiary privileges to prevent discussions from being used as evidence at trial.
As above, MIEC’s program is intended to complement existing programs, such as the ACCMA program. There are instances where a physician may want to use both programs. For further information on MIEC’s peer-to-peer counseling, please contact the MIEC Claims Department at (800) 227-4527.
“Surviving the Stress of Being Sued” Seminars
Lastly, MIEC works with our partner medical societies to periodically offer complimentary dinner seminars addressing litigation stress. This seminar, entitled “Surviving the Stress of Being Sued,” may be especially useful for those that are not currently defending a claim, or those who have never been sued before. Stay tuned to our Events & Seminars page for additional programs as they are scheduled regionally.