The Doctor’s Advocate | Third Quarter 2015
What to Expect from Litigation: Dr. Michelin’s Perspective
Each quarter, we highlight one member’s personal experience in facing a malpractice claim. Hearing peers discuss the emotional impact of being sued and the support they receive throughout the litigation process provides valuable information to any physician who might become the target of litigation.
This quarter’s perspective comes from Dr. David P. Michelin, a gynecological oncologist in Traverse City, Michigan. A 66-year-old woman with multiple medical conditions and an abnormal Pap smear suggesting uterine cancer presented to Dr. Michelin. He performed a hysterectomy and appropriate surgical staging in an open procedure because of the patient’s multiple prior surgeries. He also removed significant adhesions. After the surgery, the patient developed nausea, vomiting, and pain. During a subsequent operation, Dr. Michelin discovered a 2.5-cm opening in the patient’s small intestine. The patient filed a medical malpractice claim, alleging an iatrogenic injury.
Backed by the unwavering defense of The Doctors Company and with support from experts around the country, Dr. Michelin asserted he did not cause the injury—and the jury exonerated him.