Malpractice Suits Against Family Physicians Declined in 2021

Attorneys who specialize in such lawsuits attributed the decline to the fact that fewer people have received healthcare in person during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with a general sense of gratitude among patients for the sacrifices healthcare workers have made throughout the past 2 years…Malpractice Suits Against Family Physicians Declined in 2021: Survey, Marcus A. Banks, 2022


The most common reasons for malpractice lawsuits were failure to diagnose/delayed diagnosis (43%), poor outcome/disease progression (23%), wrongful death (14%),
complications from treatment/surgery (13%),and failure to treat/delayed treatment (11%).


Nearly all family physicians (95%) who responded to the survey said that they were “very surprised” or “somewhat surprised” to be part of a malpractice suit and that they frequently felt strong emotions about the experience.


The vast majority (84%) of respondents said their lawsuits weren’t warranted.


Roughly half of family physicians (53%) said they believed the outcome of their lawsuit was fair.


The largest proportion of respondents (43%) said they would have done nothing differently, although almost 1 in 5 (17%) said they would have conducted better chart ocumentation.


Almost two thirds of family physicians (63%) said being sued did not negatively affect their careers, while 29% said they no longer trusted patients and treated them differently.


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