Here’s some sobering news for doctors and those who aspire to be one. If you are a neurosurgeon or a heart surgeon, you’re going to face a malpractice claim at least once by the time you reach 65. Coming from the New England Journal of Medicine study published recently, even if you’re a doctor in a low-risk speciality eg GP or skin specialist, the chances of being taken to court by age 65 is still high, at 75%.
I’m not surprised at all..what with more well-informed patients, an egalitarian society, litigation-conscious families and the ever-present doubt on the quality of medical education..one can only expect malpractice claims to rise.
Medical students in particular should take note of this trend. Medical schools need to also address this issue in their curriculum. As it is well-known that, even after an untoward event, whether the patient decides to sue is largely dependent on effective doctor-patient communication – medical schools would do well to introduce communication skill as an integral part of a medical course.
A good doctor is more than just being adept at diagnosing and treating diseases – they have to be skilled at managing information and communicating with their patients.
- Are You a Surgeon? Sorry, You’re Going to Be Sued By Age 65. (blogs.wsj.com)
- Docs Face High Risk of Malpractice Lawsuits (abcnews.go.com)