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.
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 considering the circumstances of the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the care is rendered.
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