The Longer You Practice Medicine, the More Likely You May Be Sued

May 23, 2023

Nearly one-third of physicians have had a medical liability claim filed against them, according to a new report from the American Medical Association. The analysis found that most lawsuits do not result in findings of medical error, as 65% of claims were dropped, dismissed or withdrawn from 2016 – 2018. In that same time frame, 6% were decided by a trial verdict and 89% were won by the defendant.
Many physicians will face lawsuits during their careers. Almost 47% of physicians over the age of 54 have faced a lawsuit compared to 10% of doctors under 40. The report also found that medical specialties account for a large variation in the risk of being sued. The highest risk specialty is OB-GYN, with 62% being sued in their careers followed by 60% of general surgeons. The lowest risk specialties are allergists and immunologists with only 7% reporting that they have been sued. And female physicians are at a lower risk of facing a lawsuit than male physicians.
ISMIE offers an informative three-part series that covers what physicians face when they receive a notice of a medical professional liability lawsuit. The trio of presentations are available on-demand.
For more information on the series, please contact the Risk Management Division by email.
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