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Managing stress

Building resilience

Your lawyer

Male physician and male lawyer walking

Working with your lawyer

During your career you may become involved in a complaint process or legal action requiring a defence lawyer.

The following tips can help you and also limit the stress involved:

  • Be prepared.
    Imagine you are studying for your qualifying exams. This is just another similar challenge. Study the case, pore over the file, know the details and take notes.

  • Do not avoid the problem.
    Read the letters from and cooperate with the CMPA assigned lawyers. Force yourself to review the records and chart.

  • Do not avoid the assigned defence lawyers.
    Take calls from your lawyer (not the patient-plaintiff's lawyer), or return them promptly. Meet with your lawyer. Do not worry about being embarrassed or being judged by them. This is their job, they see this all the time, and they can help you. CMPA members are reminded that all communication with the patient and the patient's family should be through the legal counsel assigned by the CMPA.

  • Be prepared for hearings.
    Ask yourself questions, and prepare answers. Learn about the process, order of events, physical layout of the hearing room, where to sit, how to address those present, and how to testify. Know where you are going, and be on time. Dress in business clothes. Look and act confident. Be calm, clear, and credible.

  • Understand and identify roles.
    Your role is to explain and defend yourself. Their role is to question you. Do not personalize this; they are just doing their job. Note: This is a different role than in patient care.