What to Expect from Litigation: Dr. Wuest’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, we feature Thomas K. Wuest, MD, MMM, an orthopedic trauma surgeon in Eugene, Oregon, who was a defendant in a medical malpractice suit involving a man who fell over 20 feet from a utility pole and sustained multiple injuries. Dr. Wuest was called in by his partners when they experienced problems obtaining union with the distal humerus fracture. During surgery, the radial nerve was partially injured. The patient alleged malpractice. Dr. Wuest worked with his attorney and The Doctors Company claims specialist to provide a strong defense where he connected with the jury. In the end, the jury exonerated him.
In this compelling video, Dr. Wuest discusses how “being sued is a lonely feeling” and how it took time for his feelings to return to normal—so that he did not view each patient as a potential litigant—after the experience. He was glad to have The Doctors Company by his side during that trying time.
The Doctor’s Advocate is published by The Doctors Company to advise and inform its members about loss prevention and insurance issues.
The guidelines suggested in this newsletter are not rules, do not constitute legal advice, and do not ensure a successful outcome. They attempt to define principles of practice for providing appropriate care. The principles are not inclusive of all proper methods of care nor exclusive of other methods reasonably directed at obtaining the same results.
The ultimate decision regarding the appropriateness of any treatment must be made by each healthcare provider in light of all circumstances prevailing in the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the care is rendered.
The Doctor’s Advocate is published quarterly by Corporate Communications, The Doctors Company. Letters and articles, to be edited and published at the editor’s discretion, are welcome. The views expressed are those of the letter writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or official policy of The Doctors Company. Please sign your letters, and address them to the editor.