When it comes to medical malpractice claims in the United States, a new comprehensive study has shown that 1 out of every 100 doctors is responsible for 32 percent of malpractice claims.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Melbourne and Stanford University, analyzed 66,426 claims that were paid against 54,099 doctors between January 2005 and December 2014.
Virtually all claims in the study were out-of-court settlements. The findings showed that a third of these medical malpractice claims arose from the death of a patient, with payment on all claims averaging to approximately $205,000.
Repeat offenders were common, with physicians who were male being at a 40 percent higher risk of recurrence than female physicians.
Recurrence rates were found to be highest among male doctors in the fields of general surgery, neurosurgery, obstetric-gynecology, orthopedic surgery and plastic surgery. Additionally, doctors who received their training outside of the United States were 12% more likely to have a recurrence of paying out on a claim.
Those at the lowest risk of recurrence were pediatricians and psychiatrists.
While analyzing those traits of doctors who may be likely to have malpractice claims, it was found that physicians under 35 showed about one-third the risk of repeated malpractice when compared to their older colleagues.
It may be possible to get problematic physicians into programs aimed at helping them to improve their practice and avoid future malpractice claims. Programs such as these still need to be evaluated to determine if returning high-risk physicians to safe practice is plausible or not.
If you or a loved one has been victim of an injury that may have been caused by medical negligence and need help finding an experienced attorney, please search our network of experienced medical malpractice law firms today.