An article in the New York Times, authored by Nicholas Bakalar, recently disclosed that one percent of all doctors account for 32 percent of all paid medical malpractice claims. Furthermore, the more often a doctor is sued, the more likely that physician is to be sued again.
Furthermore, the article notes that a study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, reviewed 10 years of paid medical malpractice claims by utilizing the National Practitioner Data Bank, which tracks paid claims against physicians. The study revealed that a doctor who had two paid claims was twice as likely to have another as a doctor who had one, and a doctor who had six or more paid claims was twelve times as likely to have another.
In terms of specialties, neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons were approximately twice as more likely to have a paid claim as internists, and pediatricians were thirty percent less likely to have one.
Older physicians were more likely to have more than one paid claim than their colleagues under 35, and recurrent paid claims were higher for male physicians than their female counterparts.
According to the lead author of the study, David M. Studdert, ninety-four percent (94%) of all doctors have no paid claims, but high risk doctors, who have multiple paid claims, are a problem and “a threat to the healthcare system.” Studdert noted that identifying these physicians is a first step in solving the problem.
If you or a loved one has suffered from hospital negligence, it is strongly recommended that you seek experienced counsel immediately.