Coping with Litigation Stress

By Shelley Greenman, MD, FACEP

Although being sued can be very stressful, there are a number of effective ways to cope, including the following:


  • Don’t go it alone;
  • “Tomorrow is another day."  Know that this too shall pass!
  • Talk about your fears and emotions;
  • Seek advice from experienced colleagues;
  • Attend support groups and educational meetings ;
  • Be actively involved with your legal defense team;
  • Assist in identifying and choosing experts;
  • Attend as much of the trial as possible but try not to obsess about the process;
  • Maintain relationships. Share your feelings with your spouse or partner;
  • Continue your hobbies, or find a hobby if you don’t have one;
  • Pets are very therapeutic;
  • Exercise. Now is a good time to start if you aren’t already;
  • Remember, the lawsuit is not personal;
  • Focus on the countless positive interactions you have had in your career, the many lives you have saved. This suit does not define you;
  • Reflect on the successes you have had, the things of which you are proudest;
  • Being aware of litigation stress and its possible effects;
  • Be prepared to seek out professional help if needed.


Special thanks to Dr. Gillian Schmitz


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