Nearly 1,400 physicians who were sued for medical malpractice share their experience in Medscape’s recent Malpractice Report.

According to the report, the top 10 medical specialties experiencing the most lawsuits were:

top 10 medical specialties sued

Most malpractice claims against primary care physicians are a result of missed diagnoses, particularly of cancer and myocardial infarction in adults and meningitis in children, as well as medication errors.

Other highlights from the malpractice report include:

35% of lawsuits were “failure to diagnose” (17% “failure to treat”)
74% of physicians were surprised to be sued
24% of physicians sued were dismissed prior to deposition

–  45% went to depositions
–  21% went all the way to trial

61% took up to 2 years to conclude
57% of plaintiffs received no monetary award

–  18% received up to $100,000
–  16% received up to $500,000
–  2% received over $2 million

62% of responding physicians said the lawsuit result was fair.
In almost all cases, the insurer paid the full payout amount.
29% of physicians said they no longer trust patients and treat them differently.
93% of sued physicians said saying “I’m sorry” would not have helped.

Respondents to the malpractice survey advise other doctors to: follow up even when you don’t think you have to; practice more defensive medicine; document more often and more thoroughly; and get rid of rude, demanding, noncompliant patients.

Click here to view the full Malpractice Report by Medscape.