The Psychological Effects of Medical Malpractice Litigation on the Physician
The impact of malpractice litigation on the professional practice of medicine has taken an ever-increasing share of the attention of the entire health care delivery system in the United States. In fact, a search of the literature for the medical journals listed in the Medline database from July 1, 1980 to August 1987 resulted in 2,746 articles retrieved under the descriptor of malpractice. When the search was narrowed to include only articles dealing with malpractice paired with either stress, professional impairment, professional incompetence, defensive medicine, physician impairment, or attitude of health personnel, the number is reduced but is still a considerable 179 articles. The typical focus of attention in the vast majority of the articles retrieved was 1) the financial impact on the health care provider and health care institutions, 2) the type and extent of injury to the plaintiff, and 3) useful methods to incorporate into daily practice to avoid or provide adequate defense against litigation.
KeywordsFatigue Migration Depression
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