49% of family physicians have been sued: 5 survey findings

About half of family medicine physicians have faced at least one malpractice lawsuit during their career, according to Medscape's 2019 Family Physician Malpractice Report.

Medscape polled 4,360 physicians across more than 25 specialties, including family medicine, via an online survey conducted from Aug. 6 to Sept. 26, 2019.

Five survey findings:

1. Forty-nine percent of family physicians have been sued for malpractice.

2. About 39 percent of lawsuits were settled without going to trial.

3. In cases that did go to trial, a judge ruled in favor of defendants 10 percent of the time and plaintiffs 2 percent of the time.

4. The most common claim cited in medicine malpractice cases involved diagnosis delays or errors (42 percent), followed by poor outcomes or disease progression (22 percent), treatment delays or failures (19 percent) and wrongful death (18 percent).

5. Sixty-two percent of physicians said the lawsuit came as a "complete shock."

For more survey findings, click here.

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