Veteran affairs malpractice


Junior Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 23, 2006
  1. Pre-Medical
I have heard from colleagues as well as read that suing a VA doctor is very difficult because essentially you would be suing the federal govt. Does anyone know if this concept would stand if a VA doctor is sued while working outside of the VA either through moonlighting or PP.

My guess is that one would need to purchase separate malpractice coverage for those activities outside of the VA, but was wondering if anyone had any experience with this?


Full Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 15, 2007
  1. Attending Physician
My understanding is that if you are working within the scope of your VA duties and a patient brings a lawsuit that you are likely to be named but quickly dropped and the federal government substituted. This will only apply if you were practicing in your official capacity as a federal employee; if you are in private practice, any lawsuits arising out of that will proceed the same as they would for anyone else.
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Full Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 6, 2011
Boston, MA
  1. Attending Physician
It is REALLY hard for incompetent docs in the VA to get sued or fired, unless it's like national level disaster PR.

Anecdotal story: when I was in adult residency staffing the ED as a senior resident, there would be this doc from this VA hospital trying to send unstable patients to our free-standing psychiatric facility. He would threaten to report our interns to the board if they did not accept so he would frequently get his way.

I got curious and looked him up. It turns out he had two major strikes against him through the boards and this was allll public record.. Apparently four years prior he had worked for a Mass VA (as an ED attending) and stole/pocketed a vial of fentanyl or something, which was meant for helping intubate a patient's airway. This was caught by a nurse and reported, and the guy lost his license in the state of MA. However, he then went to NH and applied for a new license, but did not report to the NH board that he had his MA license revoked, so he fell under investigation for the second time. He then had to beg one of the higher ups in a Mass VA to write him a letter of support to the MA board, and finally he had his MA license re-instated with limits or something like that.

Sooo yeah I think he is probably still out there practicing to this day.
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