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Majority of doctors will be sued for malpractice in their lifetimes

A new study by Carol Kane from the AMA counts the number of suits doctors have faced, and finds that 61% of doctors over 55 have been sued in their lifetimes, raising the med-mal insurance rates of the other 39%. [American Med. News]

I think the 61% number has some marginal relevance. In the med-mal debate, I keep hearing claims like "Good doctors don't get sued" and "The vast majority of claims are paid by a small percentage of doctors." (The latter is trivially true, but is a meaningless statistical artifact without predictive power in the med-mal context.) When the majority of doctors face medical malpractice lawsuits (90% when one narrows it to oft-sued specialties like surgery), it suggests that doctors are getting sued for practice, rather than malpractice.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.