Are you smarter than a PGY-4?

(At least about liability insurance.)

I have mentioned more than once that while PRMS staff always welcomes the opportunity to speak to groups of psychiatrists in all stages of practice, we particularly welcome the chance to speak with residents. We believe that good advice early in one’s career can ease the transition to practice, reduce the anxiety that it creates, and help the resident build good risk management techniques into his or her practice from Day 1.

Those of us who do most of these resident sessions collected residents’ FAQs. Here they are:

    • 1. What’s the difference between occurrence and claims-made liability insurance? Which one is better? Why are there two kinds of coverage? What does it mean to me, practically speaking?


    • 2. If I’m joining a group practice, why do I need to know anything about liability insurance? The group will provide me with coverage as part of my contract.


    • 3. Do I need to do anything about “tail coverage” before I leave residency? What kind of coverage do they provide me here?


    • 4. What can I do to keep from being sued?


    • 5. I thought malpractice insurance was like life insurance – essentially the same coverage from one company to the next. How do policies from different companies vary in terms of the coverage they provide?


How many of these can you answer? Are you confident about the accuracy of your answers? If you’re not, let us know, and we’ll make sure you have the information you need to assess whether you have the right coverage for your practice, whether you’re just starting or many years into it, and you understand the pros and cons of the varieties of policies and the coverage they provide.

And if you have a group of psychiatrists who need a speaker on liability and risk management issues, just let us know. You can contact me directly at