Medical malpractice lawsuits: 5 stats for orthopedic surgeons to know

Carly Behm -   Print  |
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Most orthopedic surgeons have been named in a medical malpractice lawsuit, according to Medscape's Medical Malpractice Report 2021.

Medscape surveyed 4,358 physicians across 29 specialties between May 21 and Aug. 28.

Five stats orthopedic surgeons should know:

1. Eighty-one percent of orthopedic surgeons surveyed by Medscape have been named in a malpractice suit. Plastic surgeons and general surgeons were at the top of the list, both with 83 percent of respondents saying they were named.

2. One-third of respondents who said they were sued said their lawsuits were settled. Two percent said cases went to trial and the judge or jury decided in favor of the plaintiff. 

3. Thirty-two percent of primary care physicians and 47 percent of specialists surveyed said they spend at least $10,000 a year on malpractice insurance premiums each year. 

4. Thirty-five percent of respondents who said they were sued said they spend more than 40 hours preparing for their defense. The lawsuit process took one to two years for 40 percent of respondents who were sued, and 27 percent said it took less than a year.

5. The most common reason for malpractice lawsuits was failure to diagnose or a delay to diagnose (31 percent), followed by complications from treatment or surgery (29 percent) and poor outcomes or disease progression (26 percent).

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