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Some specialties have higher risk of medical malpractice

Going to the doctor is seldom pleasant. Even for a routine checkup, there is a level of nervousness about the possibilities. If the doctor finds something irregular, chances are good the patient will be sent to a specialist, and that may increase one's anxiety even more. Medical malpractice data published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that a patient's anxiety about seeing a specialist may not be unfounded.

The study says that doctors in New York and across the country who practice specialized medicine expect to be sued. In fact, 99 percent of high-risk specialists face at least one malpractice claim. For many specialists, the most common claim is a failure to correctly diagnose what is wrong with the patient.

Specialists in oncology, pulmonary medicine, obstetrics and gastroenterology are the doctors most likely to miss or delay a diagnosis, resulting in a medical malpractice claim. Other claims include post-operative complications and medication errors. These occur in specialties such as urology, plastic surgery and orthopedics.

The specialties with the most frequent malpractice lawsuits are cardiovascular and neurosurgery. Interestingly, the NEJM study showed that male doctors are more likely to be sued for malpractice than females. The authors suggest this may be because women are better at communicating than men, and lack of communication is often the chief cause of a malpractice lawsuit.

New York has its share of caring and dedicated doctors. However, if someone suffers because a doctor failed to diagnose a serious illness or due to complications following surgery, that person may certainly want to seek recompense. Having the help of a personal injury attorney will allow patients to file medical malpractice claims to hold accountable those doctors who fail to deliver the standard of care to which all patients are entitled.

Source: insidermonkey.com, "10 Worst Medical Specialties with Highest Malpractice Rates", Vuk Zdinjak, May 2, 2017

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