Monday, August 04, 2003

An interesting email from a Drexel med student, which says in part: "We are taught that the only thing we can do to
decrease malpractice suits is to develop a better rapport with patients. I think getting doctors to try and improve their empathic skills is great, and is the only possible benefit to the malpractice mess we are in now."

This guy hits the nail on the head. I can't tell you how many times I've head a client say something like "I never would have considered making a claim if he had just apologized." Often, especially in my part of the world, people just want (a) forthrightness and (b) common human decency. Unfortunately, so many doctors have that well-known arrogance, which translates into either apparent contempt for their customers [patients], and/or the absolute certainty that they have NEVER screwed up a case.

As I have said previously, it takes a special set of facts to justify the time, risk and expense of a medical malpractice case. How many cases would never be contemplated if the doc just said, "my bad. Send me the bills and I'll take care of it." Not all, but a lot.

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