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Need Your Opinion

Been the victim of Medical Malpractice or fighting a malpractice suit? Discuss it here.

Need Your Opinion

Postby Daylin » Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:11 am

What are a physician's chances of being accused of malpractice at some point during his or her career?
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Need Your Opinion

Postby Winfrith » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:11 am

What are a physician's chances of being accused of malpractice at some point during his or her career?
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Need Your Opinion

Postby jaren12 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:31 pm

A physician's chances for being sued for medical malpractice depends on a lot of factors.

Perhaps his personality is as important as his skills. Abrasive, self assured, opinionated physicians who do not listen to their patients and are slow to accept criticism run a high risk of lawsuit. Their personal characteristics are often the base for lawsuits. The failure to speak to the patient honestly, and when the patient dies, to speak to the family rank high as causes for the filing of a lawsuit.

Then, of course, his medical specialty helps to determine his risk of lawsuit. Thoracic surgeons, general surgeons, anaesthesiologists, orthopedists, endoscopic surgeons,all those doctors who do what is called 'invasive' procedures on patients run higher risks than those who rarely if ever enter a surgery or operation area. Pediatricians, psychiatrists and others whose work is more supportive and advisory are low among doctors sued.

If you want a figure, maybe about 25% of all doctors may face a malpractice lawsuit at some time in their careers. Then maybe 10% have several lawsuits during a career. Some may have many more, one orthopedist I investigated had 22 lawsuits going at the SAME time. He was a drug user. Those doctors who are sued may have only one lawsuit, but the average for doctors who are sued is about 3 lawsuits during a career.

Other factors that enter into any estimate of how many doctors will ever face a lawsuit include such things as social pressures, greed, drug and alcohol dependency, outside factors like family problems, divorce(a big factor), and mental illness and sometimes simple 'burn out'.

The Physicians' Data Bank is supposed to have data, but these data are not complete and are often even spurious because of failure to report all cases. No true count of malpractice lawsuits filed or lawsuits reaching a verdict is available, simply because no County Court is required to report to any agency. Of course, abitration conceals more than half of all malpractice lawsuits filed in this country today. Insurance company records(the source of most statistics) are not complete because most of their records do not include data from cases that were not carried beyond the initial first report.

If you want my guess,(in California) I'd say that at least 25 to 35% of all doctors have at some time been named in a claim for medical malpractice whether or not these claims ever advanced to a true lawsuit, and that perhaps as many as a quarter of these have a verdict against them. Country doctors and female doctors are rarely named as defendants in claims or lawsuits. Think about that.

Of course, most medical malpractice is not recognized and so is never recorded. Think about those patients who have a 'slight complication', maybe a rise in temperature for a couple of days, some antibiotics, and recover. Or who 'fell' and suffered some minor bruises on the way to the toilet. Or who had a reaction to a medicine that was not recognized and went home not knowing the medicines they were given were intended for the patient in the next bed.

My book, Then Why Does It Still Hurt?, might interest you.
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