Sued and nonsued physicians' self-reported reactions to malpractice litigation

Am J Psychiatry. 1985 Apr;142(4):437-40. doi: 10.1176/ajp.142.4.437.


To assess the impact of malpractice litigation on physicians' personal and professional lives, the authors surveyed a random sample of the Chicago Medical Society membership. Although both sued and nonsued physicians reported changes in professional behavior and emotional reactions to both the threat and actuality of litigation, sued physicians reported significantly more symptoms than nonsued physicians. Significantly more of them reported that they were likely to stop seeing certain types of patients, think of retiring early, and discourage their children from entering medicine. Malpractice litigation may affect not only physicians' personal and professional lives but also the delivery of health care.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Career Choice
  • Chicago
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Disease / etiology
  • Disease / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malpractice*
  • Middle Aged
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Professional Practice
  • Retirement
  • Sampling Studies
  • Societies, Medical
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology