4 specialities with most malpractice suits in 2021

Plastic surgeons, general surgeons, orthopedists and urologists were the top four physician specialities facing medical malpractice suits in 2021, according to the 2021 Medscape Malpractice Report published Nov. 19. 

Researchers surveyed 4,358 doctors across 29 specialties online from May 21 through Aug. 28. Overall, U.S. physicians saw a decrease in medical malpractice suits during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Five things to know: 

1. The four specialities sued the most were plastic surgeons and general surgeons (83 percent), followed by orthopedists (81 percent) and urologists (80 percent).

2. Sixty-two percent of specialists reported being sued while 52 percent of primary care physicians faced claims. 

3. Failure to diagnose accounted for 31 percent of lawsuits of surveyed physicians, followed closely by complications from treatment at 29 percent. 

4. The top 10 states for medical malpractice lawsuits were: Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, South Carolina, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina and Maryland.

5. Slightly under one third of the surveyed physicians felt a lawsuit negatively impacted their career overall, with 71 percent saying it did not. 


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