BackTable / VI / Podcast / Episode #177
Doctors and Litigation: The L Word
with Dr. Gita Pensa
Emergency medicine physician and podcast founder Dr. Gita Pensa and our co-hosts Dr. Chris Beck and Dr. Aaron Fritts discuss methods of navigating malpractice lawsuits, maintaining professional identity, and prioritizing mental health.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, January 7). Ep. 177 – Doctors and Litigation: The L Word [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Dr. Gita Pensa
Dr. Gita Pensa is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Brown University in Rhode Island.
Dr. Christopher Beck
Dr. Chris Beck is a practicing interventional radiologist with Regional Radiology Group in New Orleans.
Dr. Aaron Fritts
Dr. Aaron Fritts is a Co-Founder of BackTable and a practicing interventional radiologist in Dallas, TX.
In this episode, emergency medicine physician and podcast founder Dr. Gita Pensa and our co-hosts Dr. Chris Beck and Dr. Aaron Fritts discuss methods of navigating malpractice lawsuits, maintaining professional identity, and prioritizing mental health.
Dr. Pensa starts by outlining her personal experience with a twelve year-long malpractice suit, which inspired her to start her own podcast, “Doctors and Litigation: The L Word.” She says that despite the fact that most physicians will face lawsuits in their career, there is a current lack of physician-centered educational resources over malpractice litigation. To combat this, she encourages physicians to share their experiences and learn from one another.
The doctors walk through major steps of a lawsuit, starting with the process of getting served with papers. Dr. Pensa emphasizes that it is important to recognize that this step could be used as the first tactical move in a lawsuit and designed to make physicians feel uneasy. The next step after getting served should always be to call the insurance carrier and have them start the process of initiating a claim. Dr. Pensa strongly advises against accessing or editing patient charts after getting served, as these actions are recorded in the EMR and can be used against the physician. Finally, Dr. Pensa discusses the process of deposition and how it serves as both a fact-finding mission and a strategic way to distort a physician’s words. She recommends practicing with lawyers to answer deposition questions clearly and concisely.
Throughout the episode, the doctors highlight the importance of maintaining one’s mental health during the litigation process. They advise listeners to seek support from friends, family, colleagues, and professionals, as long as the specific details of the case are not discussed. To close, Dr. Pensa reminds the audience that malpractice lawsuits usually have financial motivations, and they may not be an accurate representation of a physician’s competence or compassion for patients.
Doctors and Litigation: The L Word:
“The Defendant” by Sarah Charles:
“Adverse Events, Stress, and Litigation” by Sarah Charles:
“How to Survive a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit” by Ilene Brenner:
“When Good Doctors Get Sued” by Angela Dodge and Steven Fitzer:
Disclaimer: The Materials available on BackTable.com are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.