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ISMIE Risk Management invites you to their event

You've Been Served: Now What?

About this event

Getting served with notice of a malpractice lawsuit can be traumatic for many physicians. In this session Dr. Gita Pensa will cover what you need to know about the early stages of a lawsuit: first steps, do’s and don’ts, feelings you might experience, how to talk to your family or spouse about what’s happening, and where to find support. We will also discuss the discovery phase of litigation and how to prepare for deposition.

Register for the next event in the series here: The Road to a Verdict

Who can attend

Registration is limited to ISMIE and SEMPIC policyholders and their employed staff.

Learning objectives

At the conclusion of this learning activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the initial impact commonly experienced by physicians who’ve received notice of litigation
  2. List the steps that the physician or clinician should take after receiving notice
  3. Identify behaviors to avoid during the early stages of a lawsuit, and the actions that might help you down the road
  4. Identify the importance of social, peer and/or professional support during this time

About the presenter

Dr. Gita Pensa is an associate professor, clinician educator, at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Department of Emergency Medicine. She joined Brown's academic faculty in 2014, after 13 years in community emergency medicine practice. Dr. Pensa is the creator of the open access podcast "Doctors and Litigation: The L Word", a narrative educational series about the psychological and practical preparation for malpractice litigation and the management of litigation stress. She speaks nationally on the topic of malpractice litigation as well. Dr. Pensa herself endured a 12-year litigation battle, prevailing twice at trial.

Dr. Pensa was named the 2018 EMRA (Emergency Medicine Residents' Association) National Mentor of the Year, and most recently won the ACEP (American College of Emergency Physicians) Rhode Island Chapter's 2019 Special Service Recognition award for "Courageous Public Advocacy of RI Emergency Medicine Colleagues." She is also the creator and faculty editor for Brown Emergency Medicine's educational blog, which now garners over 10,000 visits each month, as well as the Brown EM Podcast series. She created and serves as host/editor of AEM Early Access, a collaborative podcasting project from the Academic Emergency Medicine Education and Training journal and the Brown EM residency. Dr. Pensa is Associate Director (Education) of Brown's Emergency Digital Health Innovation program. At the local level, she teaches about podcasting and educational technology, and serves as a longitudinal mentor to over thirty Brown medical students.


This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Illinois State Medical Society and ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company. The Illinois State Medical Society is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation

The Illinois State Medical Society designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


There are no relevant financial relationships with ACCME-defined commercial interests for anyone who was in control of the content of this activity.

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