Malpractice fears caused 77% of neurosurgeons to change how they practice, survey finds

Alan Condon -   Print  |

Fear of being sued has prompted 77 percent of neurosurgeons to change how they practice medicine, with 36.5 percent having considered quitting their practice altogether, according to a study published in Neurosurgical Focus.

What you should know:

1. Survey results were published online Nov. 1, comprising responses from 490 members of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

2. The top subspecialties represented were spine surgery, neuro-oncology and neurotrauma.

3. Almost 81 percent of respondents reported being named in one or more medical malpractice cases, with about 12 percent involved in more than 10 lawsuits.

3. Spine surgery was the subspecialty with the most malpractice suits, at 48.4 percent.

4. About 77 percent of respondents said that fear of being sued led to a change in how they practiced medicine.

5. Fifteen percent of respondents said they had been in lawsuits that resulted in plaintiffs receiving more than $1 million in damages.

6. The main concerns about being sued included losing confidence and practicing defensive medicine (17.8 percent); personal assets being at risk (16.9 percent); and being named in the National Practitioner Data Bank (15.6 percent).

7. Study authors called for a "shift in the medicolegal landscape" to a system where the fear of being sued does not play a major role and the interests of patients are protected.

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