Amanda: Okay guys. Welcome back to the podcast. I'm Amanda.
Laura: I'm Laura.
Kendra: And I'm Kendra
Amanda: And I am excited because today we have a special guest, Dr. Laura Fortner, also known as The Med Mal Coach. She joins us today to talk about medical malpractice, which is something that I know, even if we haven't been sued, we sit around and think about it nonstop, at least in the ER. Everybody is always talking about CYA, but we met her recently at the Physician Mom Group conference in South Carolina and fell in love with her. We were sitting right next to her and her beautiful family. So I personally have experienced being named in a lawsuit and absolutely was traumatized by it at the time. So we knew that her message would help some of you out there listening today.
Laura C: So Laura, tell me, tell us a little bit about who you are.
Laura F: Well, first of all, thank you so much for having me on the podcast. I truly enjoy these ladies that I got to meet at the Physician Moms Group. But I am an OB?GYN, board certified.
I've been practicing over 22 years now. And currently I'm an OB hospitalist. I love what I do. But one of those things, just like everybody else, I'm, I'm out here trying to normalize a conversation about medical malpractice. I got hit with a case almost 10 years ago, and it really shook me to my core. It changed me, and I think this is what happens with physicians. And we're not prepared. I certainly wasn't prepared. And because of the tabooism of not being able to talk about it, I think we go around thinking it shouldn't be happening to us. And, and there's a lot into that, we can get more into it.
But I also have…I live on a farm, an actual working farm. My husband's a farmer. We have four beautiful children that are somewhat grown- 22 to 12. And right now, just for instance, we have a little baby calf we're trying to nurse back to health that has, we think, something going on. She's on my back porch. I mean, like totally concealed right now. And we gotta get her back to health, but she was…
Laura F: born yesterday.
Amanda: Just so- I don't know that anyone- does everyone know Kendra, that Kendra also works or lives on a ranch/estate, whatever.
Kendra: I call it the cowpie estate. There's either cowpies or horse apples on the ground at any given moment. So welcome to the ranch.
Laura F: Love it. I love it. Isn't it great?
Laura C: That's amazing. So what was it that prompted you to start actual medical malpractice coaching?
Laura F: Yeah. So it was really through my journey of self healing. And- just to kind of give you an idea- you know, the first… When I got served, I was- it was actually right after the holidays. And I was playing with my kids. They were home from school, and I got a knock at the door. It was the sheriff, and he served me papers. And that was a traumatic experience in itself. My kids were with me, and I had to sit them in front of the TV. I quietly went into my room, and I sobbed. And that moment changed me forever through the process of the feelings and the emotions that come up for us.
So one is fear and worry, right? We, we get so much fear of the unknown of what's gonna happen now. What about my job? What if I wanna switch jobs? What about my income? Is that gonna go down? What about my malpractice rates now? What about my reputation? What are people gonna think? We start swirling in all this fear and worry, and then we also get a little angry. We get pissed off that this is the way it works, and we're under prepared.
We don't even know what is about to happen. Right? And then, and then we carry around a baggage of shame. And I carried it like a backpack for years. Average cases of malpractice go on for five years. And we don't know this stuff. Like we are totally unaware of the legal system and how it works and what that means. And so what ends up happening is we make up all these stories in our brain about how we're not good anymore. We're not very good docs, or we start to self doubt, second-guess, do all these different behaviors. And, you know, I wanted to heal myself.
I remember vividly within- it had been probably the fourth or fifth year I was in this case, okay. It had just went to trial, and I finished the trial. The trial was very traumatic. I could still tear up a little bit just thinking about the emotions that happened in that case and how I felt, and I knew I wanted to heal myself from this. Because I did not want, and none of us deserve, to allow that lawsuit to define us. I wanted to step back into my greatness. I wanted to be that confident physician, restore my joy and my love for medicine. I didn't know how. I had tried different modalities, and none of them had really worked. And I thought, you know what? Even though I thought coaching was a bogus thing. I thought, life coaching, oh my God, what that, what is that? I don't care, if it's going to help me, I'm gonna try it.
And I tried it and changed my life. And then I went through certification myself just to heal. I wasn't planning on starting a business of any sort. I just wanted the tools for myself, so that I could live, you know, the best life and the rest of the years that I have. And, and what that amounted to was me turning this from, you know, pain into something that's a passion now. And I'm really passionate about helping others overcome medical malpractice and getting their life back and stepping into their greatness and their joy and their confidence again. Because we don't deserve to be stuck in that cycle. I was stuck in that for so many years. And I don't want other people to have to go through it, but there's no, you know, there's no resources out there for us.
Amanda: You're exactly right. When I got named, I just, the story, like you said, the stories that you make up about yourself. Because up until then, I had just had this story in my mind that if you documented correctly, and if you did your best, and you didn't have bad outcomes or whatever it was, that like, it was just people that were sloppy that got named. And that was not the case. And so I spent months and months and months just ruminating, just swirling. Like, what did they think I could have done? Or like, what, what is it that they think I did wrong? Like totally turning it on myself. And I would've given anything just to hear your story and that I wasn't alone. But like, again, you're under the impression you can't talk about anything. And so, it was just me silently turning inward in my own shame spiral. So anyway.
Laura F: Yeah. I think you brought up so many important points there, honestly, because the two biggest myths that happen in this case is, is the first thing is we are told when we call that lawyer in the insurance company- you cannot talk about this. We take this so literal as physicians. That's not what they mean. They mean, you cannot talk about what's in the chart. They, they should say to you- do not talk about the details of this case or chart, but you can go get help. You can talk to somebody about how you're feeling. You can go, you know, find another physician that has been through it too, to be mentored by, to help you with the legal process, like to help you through the stages emotionally, you can do that.
And then I think the second thing that you said, and now like, it just flew outta me, but the, the whole concept of, “I must be a bad doc” or “what did I do wrong?” And like these stories that we make up in our heads. We think we're alone. The isolation, because of the tabooism, you know, of we're not supposed to talk about it. But yet if we tell somebody, it might ruin our reputation. Someone might think that we're not really good now anymore. So we can't say anything to anybody. Right? That whole thing, right there is, is a travesty in medicine.
Because here's the thing- it's normal to be sued. The statistics are: 75% lower specialties, so pediatrics, family practice, all the primary care. You have a huge chance of still getting sued. 99% surgical specialties. ER follows, kind of in the middle there. So. It's still, you know, we all are likely to get sued. It is totally normal. And we need to talk about it. It's funny because I was, I was telling people. When I give these talks, I get people “coming out” to me all the time. It's like a coming out party. Like, “I got sued too.” “I got sued too.” I'm like, we're walking around the hallways in the hospitals or our clinics or wherever. And like, you know, physicians are passing us by, or they're in the physician's lounge. And if we would just talk about it, everybody would be like, “I got sued.” “I got sued.” But no one is saying anything, and it is creating such a baggage of shame that we carry around. And it's time to stop that. So no more can this be the way it is.
Laura C: Right. Well you said that there are no resources out there, but now you're out there, and what an important service you're offering. I just, I know so many people who just would have been so much better off if they had had something like what you're offering. So thanks for doing what you're doing.
Laura F: Yeah. You're welcome.
Laura C: You've mentioned those terms, litigation stress, and medical malpractice stress syndrome. Can you tell us more about those?
Laura F: Yeah. So it's, it's actually an known entity. Dr. Sarah Charles in the nineties, recognized the trauma that getting served with a malpractice case took, you know, how it took a toll on physicians. She actually did a ton of research, and in her literature, it's 95% of us get litigation stress- which is the physical and the psychological sort of feeling emotional symptoms that we just described. The thing is there's a continuum. So litigation stress is sort of just a stress. Like we are still able to handle our daily lives. We're still able to go about it. But we have intrusive thoughts. We second guess. We do different behaviors. I mean, some of us are buffering or might be drinking or eating. Or, you know, we're not doing well with our relationships, taking it out on our spouses, those kinds of things we could be doing, but that's all under the litigation stress category.
There's a continuum that can get to what's called medical malpractice stress syndrome. This is in the DSM guys. This is a known entity, and this is a triad of: depression, anxiety, and the apathy of wanting to go to work now and getting outta bed. It's really a depressive state. It's someone that really probably would benefit from medication. And so that continuum can get to that point, and suicidal ideation is there. Now I just had a client that I asked for a testimony. He has totally transformed himself, and he was on that continuum of really being close to MMSS and was thinking about those things. And so it's, it's, this is one of those things that when physicians already are suffering from burnout and distress and all the things that we have to deal with, and then if a malpractice case gets on top of it, it's a lot of times the tipping point for physicians and physician suicide.
Amanda: My lawyer, you know, it was months before I got to even meet with my lawyer. But my lawyer did say. Please, you guys tend to take this more personally than the average. And a lot of us have a lot of our personality tied into the fact that we are a doctor and make it mean something so terrible whenever we get sued, as if they're attacking us as a person. That's how it felt like to me. And actually, I just stared at him like, “well, yeah, of course.” You know, like, I know what he's trying to say now, but at the time I was just like, “This is why everyone else is slime, because why would you not associate your whole being as a person with the job that you're doing?” Now I see, now I see what that means. But at the time I was just like, “what?”
Kendra: Yeah. I totally agree. I mean, I got out of residency, like, you know, when they always tell you. You finish, what, June 30th? And July 1st, you're on your own. Well, I was big, fat and pregnant, and I worked maybe one month before leaving on a maternity leave. And they gave me literally like four and a half weeks, cuz there was another doc out at the time. And so I had very, very short maternity leave. So I come back, and within two months I had been named in three cases. One was during residency. And this is, so now I'm like, I'm a brand new doc out. I just get notification, you know, they send you the thing: you and everybody else. And, and I'm sure Laura, you can talk to this, but I was in Ohio, you know. I told you I trained in Youngstown, Ohio, and it is very, very famous for naming everyone. Every single person will get the whole chart, and they'll name every single person. And so that's how I got these three name. One was in residency. I was a resident,, working under the attending, and the patient had bilateral subdurals. And I will tell you that the one thing I've never read on a radiology report to this day was- the radiologist commented “brain necrosis.” I mean, so all of you that are non-medical, this is a very striking finding on a CT. And I had never seen that before, but the whole thing was, the family was suing because they didn't feel like we did everything that we could to help this poor man that fell and was on Plavix.
But anyways, so now I'm like postpartum, I got a four and a half week maternity leave. I'm like leaving my newborn, trying to get back to work. And within two months, like bam, bam, bam. And, I was dismissed from the one case. The one case didn't even go anywhere. But just had zero idea how to process all that. So my coping mechanism was stuff, stuff, stuff, get to work. Show up the next day, try to figure out somehow that I still feel made to do this job after all of that. So it was a very early on experience with these letters and attorneys and all the things. So. But as you were saying, you had mentioned, just a few minutes ago, some striking malpractice statistics. Can you give us some other ones to share with our audience?
Laura F: Yeah. And first of all, Kendra, I just wanna just validate like, even though your cases got dropped eventually, and things worked out okay. It doesn't diminish the actual trauma and turmoil that we go through. And, and I feel for you, because I know what that must have been like, especially with the four week old and everything else. So…but yeah, statistics are, and, and here's some good news you guys. Like, yes, we're likely to get sued, but 70% of those cases actually usually get dismissed because there's no validity to them. And about 10 to 15 to 20%, depending on the year, will go to trial. And then the rest get settled. Okay. So if it goes to trial, though, the good news is, 80% of the time the docs win. And the funny thing is, is when you look at stats and studies that have been done on this, they have found that there's not a lot of medical negligence, most of the time, even when they go to trial, right? There's not a lot.
And even though, if there is any medical negligence, say… So they did this, they did this study on weak, moderate, and severe medical negligence. So like, so basically if there's weak medical negligence, there was really nothing done, almost all those cases win. Okay. But if you go to the ones that even there was an error, or strong medical negligence, over 50% of those cases win. So, so the, the good news is: is that physicians win when they go to trial most of the time. And I wanna reassure you that, you know, that is the case, but it doesn't diminish. And it does not, at the time that we're going through it, does not take away all the physical and emotional symptoms.
Kendra: Yes. I can speak firsthand that even though we went through the whole process, and I got dropped and nothing. You know, it, there was, there was weeks and months I couldn't even sleep because I'm thinking, especially the one case where the guy fell on a blood thinner medicine, like absolutely devastating injury, and was like kept alive for so long. You just think like, okay, what else could I have done? What else could I have done? When all in all, I was a name on a chart that they put through some kind of computer software program and like filtered out every single doc. And I'm a doc. So my name got pulled out. Yeah. And you know, it doesn't minimize, though, the fact that you're just like, “oh my gosh, I'm a brand new doc. I couldn't even get out of residency without getting named in a case or something.” So you really start to second guess and question like, “oh gosh, what have I done? Is this really the…”
Laura F: Yeah.
Kendra: At least I did. I was questioning even if this was the profession I was supposed to go in. Because then, on the flip side of that, I was thinking to myself, “I can't even handle this. I can't even handle getting named?” So then I started to do the whole, like, blaming, shaming thing, like, “well, gosh, I'm ruminating over this, and I can't even get through this. How am I going to be a doctor for the next, however many, you know, thinking my career and the longevity? And like, so then I started like beating myself up. Cuz I'm like, “I can't even handle getting a letter and you know, writing a whatever.” So.
Laura F: Yeah. You know, and Kendra, everybody, you know, it's…all my clients say the same thing. It is. It is, we all have the same emotions, the same thinking, the same. Like most everybody wants to quit medicine when they come see me. They think it's not for me anymore. And it's really quite astounding how our thought processes are all so the same. It's because, I really believe, it's because the culture of medicine perpetuates this. We can't talk about it, and that it's not normal to get sued. So we think we shouldn't be getting sued. And then also the culture of perfectionism, you know, like there's no error, there's no room for error.
And if you, if you have an error, it must mean you're bad. And you guys we’re human. We're not bad. We do the very best we can. And most every single physician does that. There's no one- there's very few exceptions. I mean, yes, there are some outlier exception physicians, but for the most part, no, that's not the case. And it's normal, Kendra, what you were doing, actually. You weren't really abnormal at all. In that, in those processes.
Kendra: But obviously I had- no one talked about it- so I had no idea. Like who's been sued? Has anyone ever gone through this? They told me I couldn't talk about it. What do I do? I even have a husband that's a physician, but he was still in training too and had no idea. Like, I even felt like I couldn't even like open up and even say my feelings about this situation, cuz I thought that was discoverable. So I'm just thinking, like, I can't even process this. I can't even talk to my husband who's a physician. So stuff, stuff, stuff, buffer, buffer, buffer, and go on, you know, so.
Laura F: Well, and I think almost every physician does that. They resist and avoid the whole emotions, and they just, they like gotta get back up and just keep going. The problem with the resisting and avoiding, you never can heal through that. You, it continues to build. And so there is a way through it, by processing all that right away, and learning tools and techniques to be able to really change the thinking of who you are and finding the evidence for that. Because what, what happens is then we start to find all the evidence of why we second guess, why we self, I mean, what you're doing is normal. Like second guessing yourself and your decision to go into medicine, but also second guessing clinical decisions then. You start looking at charts differently. You start looking at people differently. You start ordering different when you don't really need to, a lot of times. But you do it because this, your perception and your lens, now has changed.
So..but there is a way back. There's a way back to restore that confident self, even in the midst of this. I mean, I was able, when I did my healing, and I got my certification, I was still in the middle of everything. It hadn't ended for me. And I was, I got peace of mind, no matter what was gonna happen. And so I knew that if I could do it with what happened to me, because I really have worst case scenario, if people wanna Google me, they could find it. But it was worst case scenario, worst case. And. And I can tell you to this day, I'm an OB hospitalist. I love what I do. I'm passionate about helping physicians overcome MedMal, but at the same time, like I have this joy and significance that I actually never felt even before.
So I'm even, I feel like I'm beyond where I was and, and any physician can get that again. They can, and they can get it in the midst of the storm by knowing how to do it. So So, yeah.
Kendra: Wow. That's really, really powerful.
Laura C: Can I ask one question? So a lot of our clients struggle with charting and perfectionism with charting because of this fear of malpractice suits. And I mean, it's crazy how just the fear of malpractice can affect our lives so negatively, even when we haven't been named. I mean, we're spending hours and hours extra doing all this charting. Do you have any words of wisdom for people who are obsessing about charting?
Laura F: Yes. Let's talk about this. Yeah. I love that you bring this up because people can have litigation stress before they even get sued. The fear of it can be created. And especially, a lot of times what happens to us is we have an adverse event. Like somebody unexpectedly dies when we didn't expect that that was going to happen, like in the ER or whatever. Or something happens like in my world, you know, just so unexpected. That the patient went into DIC and wasn't supposed to, and like all these things, right? So those events can actually trigger us into litigation stress. I don't know. Maybe it needs to be called something else. Because you can have the same physical and emotional symptoms. And one of the behaviors is obsessive about your charting. And people can, can get so to the point where they work themselves up, and then they have tons and tons of charts. And they're so backlogged because they're not able to finish it.
And, and. What I will say is a couple things. One is I do talk about this. I have a whole avoid litigation, you know, speaking that I do, but I find that we have so much of that in medicine. Right? We really don't, you know, we don't have, when it happens what to do. But I think the biggest thing is just sharing, like, knowing that if you put your differential on paper, that is the best you can do.
Okay. It's the best you can do, is in the assessment say, “this, you know, this most likely is this. Here are some other things that I'm thinking that we're going to rule out, right. If you're informed consenting someone, making sure- this is a big one in litigation- because they say, “oh, you know, the patient will say they weren't informed about this complication that arose.” Right? So, so informed consent is a huge one. And some of the verbiage that we tell people to put into their charts is these are the risks of the surgery, but not limited to. Others can occur. And so just that statement alone can make you feel better. You're gonna list what normally can happen, right? The biggest risks. But then you kind of have covered yourself by saying they're not limited to these things. There's other things that can occur. So, but I think the thing is, is just knowing, like telling, putting on paper, your differential of what you're thinking, your thoughts. And then what you're doing in each category to rule them out. And really that's all that you have to do.
No one is gonna be perfect in their charting, and no one is gonna be all inclusive. And in fact, what'll happen is. If you are a click checker, and you're just doing everything because you want the whole, right? That can also, they can use that against you. Right?
So the thing is litigation- the reason why people sue. So let's go back to the reason why people sue. The number one reason is because they think you're hiding something or you did not tell them everything that happened to them and why it happened. This is the number one reason. And so, you know, charting does have things to do with it, but it's not what's going to cause litigation. If that makes sense. I guess, you know, it's not gonna cause it and it's. And yes, can it make it worse? I suppose, but that's people who don't even put down like anything, right? It's very short, right? I mean, you can do this so effectively. Like I do this so effectively now. I don't even think about it. Like that's where you can get to. The problem is people think about and obsess about it right now. And so you wanna get to the point where you're not thinking about it.
But, I want you to think about the top reason people sue is they feel as if you are hiding something or you haven't told them the whole story. Or like say there was a complication in surgery. And now you're trying to talk to 'em about it. You need to be able to be honest, empathetic, and authentic, totally real about what happened and not lie at all. If they can tell this is what happened. And so that's the number one thing.
The second thing is: patients want to feel heard. So, what does that mean? You should listen way more when there's a complication. When there's something that happened that the patient is disgruntled, you're gonna listen way more than anything. If you try to interrupt and talk the whole time, this is the problem.
Amanda: We just see so many of our partners staying hours and hours and hours after their shift. So I'm gonna summarize and say:
* get your nice, good differential
* don't ruin your life now before you even get sued
* and if you do, then get Laura to help you
Laura F: Yes, yes. And I tell them, I'll tell you. Charting, I mean. When I go back and look at my case and the charting that I did, I did leave the stuff out. They did point it out. It really wasn't that big of a deal in the case. Okay. The thing. The worst thing people could do with charting, and this is just something that if you get. This is so important. This is like, should be totally trained in every institution. If you get served, do not go to the electronic medical record and look it up.
You do not wanna do that. Everything is so timed now with electronic stuff. Everything is timed. And even if you- lawyers have even gone to the extent of looking up your Up To Date articles after the fact.
Laura C: Oh, wow.
Laura F: Because you're logged in to the computer system. So what I mean by that is, like, when you're logged in, whatever you do is timed. And so this is so, so important that if you get served, I always tell my clients, don't read it. Because I have a lot of clients that come to me that know that they're gonna get served, say, you know what? They came and got the records. They said I was gonna get sued. You know, like, they know it. So they come and work with me, right? And so I tell them: two things. Don't look at the chart until your lawyer talks to you and has it. Don't even go there. Don't look up any articles at the hospital or anything. Don't do anything on that hospital charting except your normal day. Okay.
Yeah. And then the next thing I tell them is don't read the language in what you're served.
This is, this is really important. I think we have a tendency to do that, but the language it's. Your lawyer's gonna tell you what that document said. Number one. And then the other reason that I think is so funny when they say don't talk about your case. Well, that thing that they served you with is public record. It's public record, physicians. It's all in there. The details of why they're suing you is in there, and anybody can go look it up.
Laura C: Wow.
Laura F: So, I mean, I get that the details of the chart are not in there, but like the premise of what's going on is in there.
Laura C: Wow. That's fascinating.
Kendra: So these are some great tips, Laura, that you have. Anything that you would say, or you sort of elaborated on this a little bit ago. But describe kind of how your clients are when they come to you, versus like, after working with you. Whether they come to you, like you said before, they just kind of know, oh yes records were obtained. They told me, blah, blah, blah. I haven't got my official letter, subpoena or anything like that yet. But they come to you with that information or with the fact that they have just been served. And then describe that transformation and how they come out on the other side.
Laura F: Yeah. So I have all facets. But typically, you know, worst case, they come to me and they are so activated and so triggered. And what I mean by that is they can't calm down. They're in a turmoil with all the emotions. And that usually happens right away. Right? They get served right away, or this adverse event just happened, and they're seeking help. And so I get to them. And so those people is, it’s so important with them, is to help them learn how to dysregulate themselves. And then we move beyond it to restore that joy, step back in their greatness and their confidence again. And then I also have people that have actually had some coaching already and then come to me because they're in a case. And they want to know and learn more about that and also be so good during the case, deposition, trial, all that stuff, and to be peace of mind, no matter what happens with it.
And so what I found is… I just got some testimonies in because I just asked for them. And one of 'em said, you know, he was actually up at night Googling…maybe how to end his life, which is really crazy. And now he's thriving. He is a whole new person in terms of confidence. He knows his self worth. He has his own back, and he's certain that he's a really good physician. And that's what I want physicians. I, we all deserve to know that we, we have our own backs, and we're certain that we're good. And this…
Laura C: I’ve got chills right now.
Amand: I love that because it is our own voice that we can't escape and that is just chattering, like nonstop, for me.
Laura F: It is. Yeah. And what happens when there is an adverse event or a case- it hijacks your amygdala. And the amygdala has so many pronounced memories. Like it creates memories so quickly, and it just repeats them. It constantly repeats them, and it's constant. And it's constant like everywhere you go, you're having intrusive thoughts about this. All the time. And it's learning the tools on how to shut it off, figuring out are you activated or triggered right now, what to do with that. And then also learning tools beyond that to actually have joy, to actually get that confidence back, have that knowing that you're, you're such a great physician.
I mean, so there's a stepwise process that I take people through. And I actually am starting a group now because I'm so full one on one that I, I want to deliver this to more people and more physicians. And they also, I know people come to me and say, I wanna be anonymous. Like I don't want, you know, and so I'm gonna, this is gonna allow that, people to step into a group. People don't know that need to know you're there or anything if you don't wanna share, but you can go through the process yourself. And you can go through with what we have on the live calls. And so I'm so excited that I'm launching it, actually. I'm doing a minicourse, and then I'm launching it. So this month.
Amanda: I love that. I love that. Yes. So I, I guarantee you, somebody listening to this right now has just been served or about to get served tomorrow and are activated and triggered and all the things. So what tips would you give them to do today?
Laura F: Yeah. So here's a really good one. And I think this does work. And I don't- some of these things- you might think- this is what I thought, too, guys. Some of these things you might think are so simple, like that's not gonna work. Right. But I want you to think about your best friend. And your best friend, who is the same, think about that best friend as if they were in your profession, and they were about to get served, or they got served. What would you say to this best friend? And then write this out. Like I, there is something with writing pen to paper, not computer, not any of that. I want you to write it out, and I want you to carry around your pocket. And I want you to think about those words that you would say to your best friend, and I want you to say it to yourself.
The other thing that I want you to write down, which works so well. And I know it's so simple, but every single one of my clients said, “this has helped me so much is- it's okay to be sued. It's normal to be sued.” Just those two statements, right there, can get you out of almost any head stuff. If you're not crazy triggered, okay, and activated. But if you are, a lot of times that stuff doesn't work. But if you are someone that feels like, okay, you know, the thing is we have to normalize this conversation.
We have to stand up for ourselves. We have to fight back on this. You know, this is something that's such a travesty and the biggest travesty. And I'm, I'm gonna talk about it with every single podcast or training that I do. Because I think this is so unfair right now, is that, depending on which state you live in, depends on how you're judged, and that's not fair. That's not right for us as physicians. We have to abide by the American standards of care. We abide by the American Board of specialty that we're in. So we all should be judged the same way. But if you live in the state of Ohio, you might be screwed. If you live in the state of South Dakota, you have a way better…
Amanda: I, I feel everyone Googling South Dakota right now.
Laura F: And it's not, it's not fair though! It's not fair that we would have to move to feel safer in our jobs. That's just, that's just my viewpoint. I mean, like we need to- Indiana actually has a pretty good model of how they do things. They have a patient fund, and so cases don't get through that are stupid. Or like they have a board of your specialty reviewing cases before they even go anywhere. Like there's just so many things that we could do state by state to make it better. But if you live in New York or the east coast, you're kind of screwed.
Amand: Do not love that.
Laura F: Yeah, I'm just saying, I, I just don't think it's right. I think we, and you know what? No one has, I don't know who out there is really stepping up to advocate for us to have some sort of reform.
Laura C: Yeah, well, cause we're all too busy.
Laura F: Yeah.
Amanda: And that's too, with like our burnout, like there's no one coming on that white horse to. To save us. Like, it's time- we have to do this for ourselves. So this person, how does she find you? How does she work with you? How does he- tell us all the things.
Laura F: Yeah. So you can go to TheMedMalCoach.com. I actually have a waitlist right now. If you wanna join the waitlist, you will get all the details on the free mini-course, and then the program that I'm starting. All that stuff will be in there. So that's the easiest way is TheMedMalCoach.com. And you can find me.
Amanda: Ooh. So you have a mini course? Tell me, I, I didn't even know.
Laura F: Yeah. So I have a free mini-course I'm gonna do on September 20th and 21st. So people can sign up and register and be a part of the minicourse live, but they'll also get the recordings if they can't be live with me. And it's just gonna be a small version of how to, you know, really overcome medical malpractice. I've called it my medical malpractice comeback kit.
Amanda: I love that.
Laura F: So you're gonna want all the details of how to come back after med mal. Right? So join the minicourse or get, you know, or sign up to get the replay.
Amanda: So this, this episode should air September 15th. So everybody out there, you probably, if it's not you who is going through this, there's probably somebody in your life who could absolutely benefit from this. So please share this with them. You said it was the 21st and 22nd.
Laura F: Yeah, 21st or 20th and 21st. But if you, if they happen to be listening to it after the fact, they can just go to the website and there'll be a link for, to get those free replays if it's after the fact. Yeah, yeah.
Amanda: You guys, share it with your friends. I'm just telling you as somebody who had, I eventually got dropped. But for months and months and months, this whole rumination and the whole not sleeping and all of the things that I thought it meant, which I was wrong about all of it. Your friend needs your help.
Laura C: Or maybe you, if you're like the obsessive charter, maybe go do the minicourse.
Laura F: Yes. Because even if, like I said, litigation stress. I always often think maybe we should term that a different way because it is happening with people before they're even getting sued. That's why I'm getting people before they get sued.
Amanda: Hundred percent. Yeah. We've had several that are like, ‘what happens when I have my big miss?” I'm like, whoa, you're already reliving this nightmare that hasn't even happened yet. So, we will have the link to TheMedMalCoach.com on our show notes. So please go down there. And then thank you for joining us. Do you have any closing thoughts today?
Laura F: No. I just wanna leave you with like, I really believe like if you can, you guys, if you're suffering right now, go around and start saying it's normal to be sued. It's okay to be sued. All of us are, are gonna get sued at some point. Like that is so helpful. It's such a neutral statement, but it is true. It is fact. And so, it can be so wonderful and helpful for you, and reach out. Don't- here's the thing. This is the other thing why I love what I do, is because it's not therapy.There's no charts. There's no record of it. It's not discoverable because there's not gonna be any record of it. So you can go through it. You can get results. You can even come to the live group coaching calls and be anonymous on the whole thing, which is what we are suggesting everybody do. So no one knows anybody.
Nothing will be- nothing's recorded. So you will be a hundred percent assured that you can get help. And the other thing that I love about it is, you are not gonna have to answer those terrible hospital privilege applications that you had mental health counseling, or you are going to therapy because it's not therapy. So just wanted throw that out there.
Kendra: That is amazing. Laura, so wonderful time with you today. And I just want to say thank you for using something that was recognizably, probably a pretty dark time. Very frustrating, very emotional time in your life, and making it a part of this testimony that has launched you into something that is so essential. And you are helping so many of our colleagues who we care so deeply about, and you're stepping out. Yes, you are providing the most excellent patient care, and you're an amazing physician. But thank you for going that extra mile and using this situation, which could have, you know, like our colleagues, ended our careers and caused us to go in the cave and stay there because that's easy and safe, But you chose to use this, to not only educate yourself, but equip yourself, certify yourself, and now you're reaching out to all of us. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Really appreciate the work you're doing, and just keep going, keep going. You're gonna help so many of our colleagues. So we are grateful to our audience for finding our podcast today. We want you to stay connected. So check out our website, www.thewholephysician.com, to sign up for a weekly well check that is delivered right to your inbox.
Until next time, you are whole, you are a gift to medicine and the work you do matters.