What I Learned From Getting (Kind Of) Sued

Dr. Jim Dahle, aka the White Coat Investor, was gracious enough to allow me to write a guest post on his website about my (thankfully limited) experience with medical malpractice. I have been reading his website since near the time of its inception, and he played a large role in my financial salvation, so I am truly honored to be featured.

Here is a preview:

Two days into it, and my tropical beach vacation was ruined. After listening to a voicemail from the next-door neighbor back home, my initial response was confusion: Why would a police officer be looking for me? I frantically searched my memory for something illegal I may have done. Did I forget to pay for an item on the bottom of my grocery cart? Was it something that happened in Vegas, but did not stay in Vegas?

After discussing it with my wife, it seemed the most likely scenario was likely worse: I was being served papers in a malpractice lawsuit. A few days later, after speaking to the county sheriff’s office, this fear was confirmed.

Please check out the entire post on the whitecoatinvestor.com, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

2 Replies to “What I Learned From Getting (Kind Of) Sued”

  1. Dr. Curious,

    Congratulations on a timely and thoughtfully written guest post. It’s interesting to get the perspective of another specialty – while I count several radiologists among my friends, I now understand why every finding I might consider incidental to my emergent study (“Why remark on a pulmonary nodule when I just want to know if this trauma patient has a pneumothorax?”) requires timely follow up. You clearly deal with many land mines that you need to deftly avoid with every imaging study interpretation.

    I can easily envision the phone call you received (on vacation, no less), and the gut punch sensation that accompanied it. I think at least part of my motivation for seeking FI has been to escape the battle fatigue from knowing any day another call like yours might arrive. That initial experience where it nearly caused us to lose our mortgage was traumatic and left scars.

    As if by serendipity, the day before your WCI post came out, the first of my own two-part blog posts on Lawsuit Grief came out. Feel free to ignore or read at your discretion for another point of view:
    http://www.crispydoc.com/home/the-five-stages-of-lawsuit-grief-part-one

    Appreciate the public service aspect of your post – I think the comments alone were a tremendous release valve for docs in need of therapy of the sort you provided.

    Keep following your curiosity!

    Fondly,

    CD

  2. Thanks, Crispy! It does seem like there is a change in mindset for many doctors from “before sued” to “after sued” when the nearly-inevitable lawsuit comes. When reading the reports of some of my radiologist partners, I have noticed strange verbiage that is always included on certain types of studies; only later have I learned that they were sued in the past over a similar case, and this is their attempt to ensure it won’t happen again. To be perfectly honest, I would estimate 50% of what most radiologists include in their reports is a C.Y.A. of some sort or another. It’s how we were trained to dictate.

    I had no idea about the mortgage denial aspect of being involved in a lawsuit, and I’m sorry to hear you had to endure it. Mine was stressful enough merely waiting around for months in limbo.

    Thanks for reading and writing your own wonderful blog. I’m thrilled to have discovered a kindred spirit!

    Dr. C

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