The group Patients for Fair Compensation just conducted an interesting and actually quite shocking study which was published in the JAMA Network’s Archives of Internal Medicine. The study, which looked at the proportion of medical malpractice claims that resulted in litigation or outcomes of the litigation process, then broke the study down by focusing on the different outcomes according to the physician specialty.
The study had some completely shocking findings. Out of all the specialties, pathologists that were in litigation were the least likely to have their lawsuit dismissed in court. This is very shocking because, usually, a pathologist is a secondary or ancillary health care provider. Granted, pathologists are sued for misdiagnoses most frequently as opposed to other tasks they perform. Also note, that pathologists also do autopsies where, yes as you guessed, you cannot commit malpractice against a corpse. But there are other duties that a pathologist may be sued for, such as these other services for other specialists. In a hospital, multiple specialists all work together. For surgeries, you have the surgeon, cardiologist, anesthesiologist, and sometimes pathologists to all treat you.
The other interesting thing the study unraveled was that claims against a pathologist that were litigated, more frequently went to trial verdict as opposed to the other medical specialties. This is also rather interesting to learn about and could be due to a variety of issues. Such as the pathologist not believing they will be found liable. Whatever the cause, this is odd considering you do not normally think of—when you are thinking about a New York medical malpractice claim—of suing a pathologist. When we think of medical malpractice, we think surgeons, not behind-the-scenes physicians like pathologists.
Therefore, it so follows that pathologists have larger medical malpractice insurance as compared to other specialties. Other specialties with large insurance premiums also include OB-GYNs and anesthesiologists. But does this sound fair to you?
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.