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Risky business: physician malpractice risk by specialty

Using physician-level data on malpractice claims from a large professional liability insurer, authors of a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine explored physicians’ career malpractice risk according to specialty. They found that 7.4% of all physicians had a malpractice claim, with 1.6% having a claim leading to a payment. Specialties with the highest percentage of claims each year were neurosurgery (19.1%), thoracic–cardiovascular surgery (18.9%), and general surgery (15.3%).  

Source: Jena, A. B., and others. Malpractice risk according to physician specialty. New England Journal of Medicine. 365(7):629-636, Aug. 18, 2011. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1012370?query=TOC#t=article

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org.

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