While the risk of being sued for malpractice can range from 2.6% for psychiatrists to almost 20% for neurosurgeons, most physicians can expect to face at least one lawsuit by age 65, according to a recent New England Journal of Medicine study.
In an analysis of more than 40,000 physicians, it was estimated that by the age of 65, 75% of physicians in low-risk specialties had faced a malpractice claim, as compared with 99% of physicians in high-risk specialties.
Each year during the study period, 7.4% of all physicians had a malpractice claim, with 1.6% having a claim leading to a payment. The proportion of physicians facing a claim each year was:
19.1% in neurosurgery
18.9% in thoracic-cardiovascular surgery
15.3% in general surgery
5.2% in family medicine
3.1% in pediatrics
2.6% in psychiatry
The average indemnity payment was $274,887, ranging from $117,832 for dermatology to $520,923 for pediatrics.
Physician’s Weekly wants to know…
- Do concerns of a lawsuit affect the way you provide care?
- How do you hedge against potential malpractice claims?