Which Doctors Are Sued The Most?

Doctor at DeskDoctors and other medical personnel hold the highest standards of professionalism and trust. They are bound to uphold the highest ethical standards based on the Hippocratic oath which the medical practitioner sworn to when they entered the medical profession. But doctors are humans as well and hence can make errors which unfortunately can lead to injury or death of their patients, which they swore to protect and treat.

While no amount of money can compensate for the lost life, the surviving relatives of the deceased can make the doctor liable for the injury or death of their loved one. Americans file over 17,000 medical malpractice lawsuits every year, according to recent data. This fact of doctors getting involved in medical malpractice was proven by a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Examining information on 66,426 malpractice suits from 915,564 physicians, the study revealed that most doctors don’t settle or lose in lawsuits.

A separate report by Medscape found that 35% of lawsuits were due to “failure to diagnose” and 17% were due to “failure to treat.” According to the New England Journal of Medicine study, certain medical specialties are targeted more than others. So which field of doctors have the most number of medical malpractice lawsuits? This is based on the findings of the Medscape survey involving 4,000 primary care physicians and selected specialists:

  • Obstetrician/Gynecologist – 85 percent
  • Surgeon – 83 percent
  • Orthopedic – 79 percent
  • Radiologist – 72 percent
  • Anesthesiologist – 58 percent
  • Internal Medicine – 46 percent
  • Oncologist – 34 percent

Orthopedists and general surgeons reflected the highest percentage of being the only parties included in a medical malpractice suit with 26 percent and 23 percent, respectively. OB/Gyns came in at third with 18 percent. The survey revealed that older doctors were more likely to be sued for medical malpractice. According to the study, 80 percent of doctors above 60 years old faced a medical malpractice lawsuit.

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