If you knew a particular physician had a history of injuring patients, wouldn’t you want to avoid that doctor? According to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, certain doctors are prone to medical malpractice claims. In fact, an astonishing one percent of doctors were linked to almost one-third of all paid malpractice claims studied by a team of Stanford researchers. What is telling, however, is that this one percent of doctors share a unique set of characteristics.
What Claim-prone Doctors Have in Common
According to the study, which reviewed more than 66,000 malpractice claims filed against 54,000 doctors across the country between 2005 and 2014, there are a few recurring traits among the physicians with repeat claims. Common characteristics include:
- Gender – 82 percent of the claim-prone doctors were men
- Age – The majority of the claim-prone physicians were older rather than younger
- Specialty – Doctors specializing in internal medicine, family medicine, general surgery, and obstetrics and gynecology had the highest rates of medical malpractice claims
Furthermore, a physician’s risk of causing harm goes up exponentially as claims pile up. In fact, it is the biggest predictor of a doctor’s likelihood of harming a patient. “Compared to physicians with only one previous claim,” said one researcher, “a physician who has had three previous claims is three times as likely to have another one.”
Out of all the claims the research team studied, one-third resulted in a patient’s death; another 54 percent caused a patient to suffer a serious injury.
Is Your Doctor Prone to Medical Malpractice Claims?
Indiana is one of several states that makes physicians’ full disciplinary histories available to the public. If you are concerned about the disciplinary background of a doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider, you can search the database of the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, which provides online access to these records.
Hovde Dassow + Deets: Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers
If you have been injured by a doctor, hospital, or health care professional, the medical malpractice attorneys at Hovde Dassow + Deets can help you obtain the justice you deserve.
Hovde Dassow + Deets, the preeminent personal injury law firm in Indianapolis, understands the challenges, pain, and suffering that medical malpractice victims face, and the firm’s lawyers work tirelessly to get them the compensation they deserve. Contact Hovde Dassow + Deets today at (317) 818-3100 or toll-free at (888) 404-6833 for a free, initial, and confidential consultation to discuss your case.