In the United States, 42 percent of physicians and surgeons are sued at least once during their medical career. While many lawsuits are dismissed or settled out of court, being sued is often a life-changing experience for most medical professionals. Along with the resulting anger and frustration, a doctor’s staff and family are often dealing with these same feelings. And of course, there is always the question of how to proceed from a professional standpoint. If you are dealing with a malpractice suit, here are some points to consider if you are considering a new business venture.
Starting a New Practice
While in most cases a malpractice suit won’t keep you from starting a new business venture, it may change how you approach your new business. For physicians, this refers to “guarded defensiveness.” By this, a doctor still practices, but does so tentatively, always wondering if another patient will bring a lawsuit against them. In many cases, these physicians often burn out and abandon their dream of starting anew.
For physicians who have been in practice many years and are then hit with a lawsuit, retirement is always an option. However, for those who choose to retire, they often find that starting a new business venture is much easier, since they tend to feel less pressure and can essentially pick and choose their patients. Along with this, these physicians also tend to engage with their patients in a more personal way, leading to better doctor-patient relationships.
Your License and Reputation
If you’ve kept your license and your professional reputation after being sued for malpractice, chances are you will have little if any difficulty starting a new business venture. In fact, many physicians who have been hit with malpractice lawsuits say the lawsuits actually helped them become better doctors, since the situation led them to re-examine why they became doctors and gave them a sense of breathing new life into their post-malpractice ventures.
Hiring a Good Attorney
By hiring an experienced malpractice attorney, it will be much easier to navigate through the complexities of the lawsuit and come out fine on the other side. By being able to get a case dismissed or settled for a much smaller amount of money, you’ll have enough financial resources left to begin a new practice.
By approaching a new business opportunity with an open mind following a malpractice suit, chances are you and your patients will reap many rewards in the years ahead.