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September 8, 1989

The Malpractice Suit: A Survival Guide for Physicians and Their Families

Author Affiliations

University of Texas Health Science Center Houston

University of Texas Health Science Center Houston

JAMA. 1989;262(10):1395-1396. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430100131047

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


In recent years there has been an extraordinary amount of national attention to issues of physician negligence and medical malpractice. Reports on malpractice suits have not been limited to professional journals but have found their way into the public press and television programs. The focus of public reporting on medical malpractice has been from the perspectives of the patient who is injured by negligent care and the health care system, which is being economically compromised by the increase in medical malpractice compensation.

Few reports have viewed the malpractice problem from the perspectives of physicians who have been sued and their families, who have had to absorb the emotional stress of malpractice cases. This videotape does a superb job of examining the impact of malpractice suits on both groups. It also provides useful advice to physicians undergoing suits on how to evaluate their lawyers, survive conflicts with their insurers who generally