Litigation Stress Program

Oakland Bridge

Personal and Confidential Assistance for Physicians and Their Families

For more than 20 years, the ACCMA Litigation Stress Program - co-sponsored by MIEC - has assisted physicians threatened with medical malpractice, medical board investigations, and workplace disciplinary actions. In addition to the support physicians receive from their personal legal counsel and professional liability insurance company, ACCMA's Litigation Stress Program offers moral and emotional support to physicians who are experiencing stress related to medical malpractice or a medical board investigation. It is a confidential peer review committee of the ACCMA, and the supportive services offered by the program are intended to complement the support physicians receive from their personal legal counsel and professional liability insurance company.

Under the program, physicians threatened by malpractice lawsuits, medical board investigations, or workplace disciplinary actions may request a visit or phone consultation with a member of the Litigation Stress Committee (LSC) at no cost. The LSC acts under the auspices of the ACCMA - a peer-reviewed body - and aims to promote quality of care by:

  • Helping other physicians understand the various stages of litigation and regulatory hearings.
  • Providing information about the non-legal aspects of those processes.
  • Advising the colleague about ways to cope with the stress related to those experiences and continue functioning effectively, both professionally and personally.
  • Offering suggestions for reducing liability.

Any physician who is threatened with or sued for malpractice, or whose license to practice medicine is being challenged by government regulators, may request a consultation with a member of the ACCMA Litigation Stress Committee by contacting the ACCMA at 510-654-5383. The primary purpose of the meeting or phone consultation is to inform the subject physician of ways to cope with the stress of litigation or investigation and to apprise the physician of support resources available from the ACCMA, the physician's liability insurer, and from other sources. LSC members provide moral and emotional support, but are not permitted to discuss details of the case, give legal advice, or make recommendations about the management of the liability claim, and may not agree to testify as an expert on the colleague's behalf or participate in other peer review activities regarding the physician's case.

To learn more about the services provided by the Litigation Stress Committee, please review the brochure and flyer below. You are welcome and encouraged to reproduce these materials and distribute them to any physicians or loved ones who may benefit from these services.

 

What to Expect

Peer Support

To help ensure that discussions with a Litigation Stress Committee (LSC) member do not interfere with the successful defense of allegations, LSC members will not discuss any details of a lawsuit or case or provide legal advice. The program is one of peer counsel only, providing much-needed moral and emotional support to physicians in stress. No doctor-patient relationship is created as a result of participation.

Insight and Information

Upon request, a physician on the Litigation Stress Committee will contact you to arrange a personal meeting or telephone consultation. A primary purpose of the meeting is to inform you of ways to cope with stress related to litigation or regulatory hearings and to apprise you of invaluable resources.

Confidentiality

LSC members do not report the substance of these conversations to the ACCMA, the physician's liability insurer, or defense attorney, nor do they keep written records.

 

Ready to make the call?

The committee welcomes inquiries or requests for assistance from physicians directly or from their spouses and friends. Contact the ACCMA at (510) 654-5383, or by emailing accma@accma.org.