Sunday, January 09, 2005

Curious JD has a blog!

An attorney who writes about medical malpractice issues has started his own blog. Welcome to Adversarial Process. I think we'll be keeping him busy...

Doctors feel attacked and victimized by the current legal environment. (Eugene just lost another neurosurgeon last week.) Doctors who've never been sued in their lives are paying huge insurance premiums. Doctors who do everything right can still be sued. Doctors who make mistakes can lose everything (even "protected assets" might not be invulnerable). Just the emotional toll of a lawsuit, or an event that might lead to a lawsuit, is a crisis for any physician.

I may be slightly desensitized, compared to other docs. In med school, we had courses about med-mal, and mock trials. During internship, I trained in a town that was home to many attorneys. Patients were lawyers, their parents were lawyers, their kids were lawyers, their sisters and brothers and cousins were lawyers.

Eventually I started to treat all my patients as though they were lawyers, or were just about to call a lawyer. (I was defensive, and went out of my way to explain things and write them down. Even now, my progress notes can run to 2 or 3 pages.) I worked (and still work) with lawyers, testifying in guardianship cases and commitment hearings.

But I don't think I'll ever be comfortable in an adversarial system. It's not the way I think. I know, I don't have to be comfortable with it, I just have to understand it and accept it. But I still have so much to learn. I have questions for Curious JD (aka "Matt"). I'm curious, as well...

Update: Hat tip to St. Nate for the link to Adversarial Process.

Curious JD also blogs about his practice. He has a moving post about the extreme hardships faced by some of his clients.
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