Old School Wisdom

December 14, 2022   |   PA

This, being an end of year article, while we are hearing the sounds of the holidays in the streets and stores, and as we attempt to practice good cheer, I thought I might offer a Fireside Chat and encourage you to take three minutes over this busy season to read a few warm and humorous pieces of old wisdom. A few weeks ago, I received an email with this anonymous title and twenty-six suggestions. These are just a few with my professional interpretations:

  • “Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.” It’s the same with a malpractice policy. All clinicians need to have a malpractice insurance policy that has few, if any, loopholes. The reasons are self-evident. Why pay for a product that is like a faulty parachute? I want my silk to open every time.
  • “Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.” Why wait to see if your policy is adequate for your practice and your family’s future? If the possibility of litigation exists, plow around that stump and get your policy before the new year begins.
  • “Words that soak into your ears are whispered, not yelled.” Nothing is as quiet as reading a summation of an experts bird’s eye view of a potential problem, yet nothing is as loud as the blue paper that has Subpoena on the face.
  • “If you don’t take the time to do it right, you’ll find the time to do it twice.” I love both PAs and NPs, having been a PA for forty-seven years and working with and being involved in workshops for both professions. I am actually sad when I receive a letter from a clinician asking what is their recourse, after the fact.
  • “Every path has a few puddles.” Some say and boast loudly, “I have never been sued,” only to answer a knock on the door to greet a process server. It happens to a large percentage of medical professionals and that puddle may surely be on your path.
  • “When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.” I am reminded of seeing colleagues saving forty percent on a policy, only to discover that the company went broke because of the number of lawsuits. Read about A.M. BEST ratings and get a policy that is AA+ Superior.
  • “Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.” You do not have a second chance to make the decision on this subject. Once you have provided the care and there is a negative outcome resulting in a litigation, you may as well take off your moccasins and stop dancing.
  • “If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.” If you have colleagues in the same practice or institution who have had an inferior policy and an unplanned problem with their insurance, it’s time to stop digging and get out.
  • “Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.” I never want any of my colleagues to awaken to the fact that they are facing a legal, financial, and licensing problem.
  • “Good judgment comes from experience, and most of that comes from bad judgment.” I have spoken on this subject for most of my career and have heard nightmare stories that I cannot forget. Sometimes we can develop experience by listening to others’ catastrophes.
  • “Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.” I think this cutie speaks for itself.
  • “Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.” Ultimately, it’s about making the correct choices and decisions. This article will be memorable because it illustrates what can go wrong. You are still in the position of making a decision. Will you read it and smile, or will you take action purchase a Professional Liability Insurance Policy from a comprehensive company.

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God. Happy Holidays and much success in your future endeavors.

Written For CM&F By: Robert M. Blumm, PA, DFAAPA, PA-C Emeritus
CM&F Clinical Advisor

Photo by Victoria Emerson


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