Some Types of Doctors are More Likely to be Sued than Others; Find out Which Ones!
According to a new study released by the New England Journal of Medicine, certain kinds of doctors are much more likely to be sued than others. The study looks at just how often doctors are actually being sued, and what kind of monetary repercussions they actually face. The study broke down medical malpractice claims to insurance companies into the three following parameters: the proportion of doctors who face a malpractice claim in a given year; the proportion of doctors who actually make a payment on a claim and the actual amount of that payment; and the risk each doctor facing a medical malpractice claim during their whole career. Further, the study included over 41,000 doctors over 24 different specialties from 1991 to 2005. The results are quite interesting, and might surprise you!
Overall each year, 7.4% of all doctors faced a medical malpractice claim. While this sounds fairly low—and granted it is a reassuring number—the difference between specialties was vast. Only 2.6% of psychiatrists faced a medical malpractice claim, whereas 19% of all neurosurgeons did. The difference could be inherent to the difficulty in neurosurgery—still young and growing—whereas psychiatry is more malleable. In that, a mistake in psychiatry can be adjusted and is more likely to, eventually, yield that satisfactory result, while neurosurgery is a very complex and difficult undertaking for a doctor to perform.
Another interesting finding was that only 1.6% of doctors each year made an indemnity, essentially a payment sum as compensation to another. Not surprisingly, this also varied throughout the practice areas. Notably, gynecologists were the most likely to make such an indemnity payment, however, were only 12th most likely to actually be sued for medical malpractice.
The average amount paid in a claim was $274,887. While this did vary as to the specialty, surprisingly the most likely to be sued, neurosurgeons, on average paid less than other specialties! Most comfortably—for us and doctors in these fields—most internal medicine, family medicine, and pathologists did not face a single medical malpractice claim in their entire career!
This research and the statistics provided will hopefully make patients more cognizant of medical malpractice. But these findings are not dispositive! If you believe you have been wronged in anyway, but know the statistics are not in your favor, don’t make the decision yourself! Make sure to call for a free evaluation of your claim to protect your rights.
But what do you think?! I 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.