The medical field is a noble profession. Those who work in this field know the value of their professional reputation. An attack on a doctor's professional reputation can effectively end his or her career. As such, it is wise physicians that find themselves the subject of such an attack take action to protect their reputation.
Depending on the severity of the negative comments, a defamation lawsuit may be an option.
When to pursue defamation: An example.
A cardiologist out of Virginia is currently pursuing a defamation lawsuit against his peers. The doctor has filed suit against his former practice, alleging defamation through "a campaign to defame and discredit" the physician after he voiced concerns about inadequate care. He claims that the group began to wrongly accuse him of sexual misconduct after he started voicing concern about poor medical care within the practice.
The group conducted an investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct, which resulted in evidence to clear the physician of the charges. He was never informed of these results. Instead, the group chose to continue to move forward with termination of the physician's position within the practice.
The physician has filed a defamation lawsuit against the practice generally and the four colleagues behind these accusations specifically. He has demanded $5 million in noneconomic compensatory damages as well as $10 million for past and future lost earnings and an additional $350,000 as punitive damages.
The impact of defamation: An attorney can help you protect your reputation.
It is not uncommon for accusations of this nature to result in suspension, termination and loss of one's medical license. The right course of action to defend one's professional reputation will depend on the details of the allegations. As such, it is wise to contact a legal professional experienced in this niche area of the law to better ensure the future of one's medical license and professional reputation.