Doctors with a History of Lawsuits Statistically Risk Repetition

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Public Health Watchdog Breaking News
Public Health Watchdog Breaking News

Recent research indicates that physicians who have been involved in a malpractice lawsuit show a statistical risk of medical malpractice lawsuits being brought against them.

In a 10-year analysis of all paid malpractice claims, only one percent of all doctors account for 32 percent of the paid clams, The New York Times wrote. The researchers used the National Practitioner Data Bank, a federal government database. The study reviewed 66,426 claims against 54,099 doctors, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers also found that orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons had double the risk of being involved in a paid claim than internists. This contrasts with pediatricians, who were 30 percent less likely to have even one paid malpractice claim.

During the study, following the amount of years in practice, researchers found that younger doctors (under 35 years of age) were one-third as likely to have a recurrence as their older colleagues. Additionally, men had a 38 percent higher risk of recurring paid malpractice claims than women, according to The NY Times.

Professor of law and medicine at Stanford, David M. Studdert, and the lead author of the documentation, stated that 94 percent of all doctors do not have any paid malpractice claims. Those doctors who do have such claims, amass multiple claims and are “a threat to the health care system.” He stressed the importance of identifying these “high-risk” doctors as paramount to a first step in addressing this problem.