The medical profession is a noble one, one that many go into with the intention of helping patients. As such, physicians who find themselves in a medical practice that does not meet patients’ needs or otherwise does a disservice to the community may find themselves extremely frustrated. This frustration will likely increase if the physician reports the problem to those in charge only to find themselves rebuked for speaking out.
What’s a physician to do? In a recent case, the rebuke moved forward with more than just a verbal scolding. Those in charge fired the physician. Instead of moving on, the physician chose to fight back. He filed a claim against the system, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare. In this claim, he states that hospital management terminated his positions because he reported problems within the organization that impacted patient care.
These types of cases can take a number of different paths before reaching a resolution. Negotiations are often initiated shortly after the claim begins to move forward. In this case, instead of heading to traditional courtroom litigation, the parties took the matter to arbitration. Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution that allows the parties to voice their concerns to a neutral third party, the arbitrator. The parties can then negotiate in an attempt to reach a resolution. Ultimately, the physician in this case chose to accept a $10.6 million award along with reinstatement of their medical staff privileges.
If arbitration had failed, the physician may have considered moving forward with traditional litigation. The right path will vary depending on the details of each case. As such, it is important to discuss your options with a legal professional familiar with this area of law before moving forward.