Chadwick & Lakerdas

Protecting The Rights Of Injured People In Hyde Park Since 1986

Which type of doctors are most apt to be sued?

A report published by Medscape in 2017 indicated that at least half of all doctors will be sued for malpractice during their careers. After interviewing more than 4,000 physicians, however, researchers found out that certain types of doctors are more apt to be sued than others.

The researchers determined that 85 percent of all surgeons and women's health specialists (including OB-GYNs) had previously been sued. Otolaryngologists, urologists and orthopedists followed closely, with all of those specialties facing lawsuits at a similar rate.

At least 73 percent of all plastic surgeons polled had previously been sued. A staggering 70 percent of radiologists had also been named as a defendant in a medical malpractice lawsuit. More than half of all emergency room physicians, gastroenterologists and anesthesiologists also reported being sued.

Researchers found that the doctors with the lowest reported risk of being sued included dermatologists and psychiatrists. Only about one-fourth of those doctors had faced litigation.

Nearly half of the physicians who reported having previously been sued for medical malpractice also said that they had been sued a second time or more during their careers. OB-GYNs and surgeons had the second-highest rates of multiple lawsuits at 11 percent each. Primary care physicians were the most likely to face multiple lawsuits.

Much of this information makes sense when put in context. Specialists who interact with the sickest patients are expected to exercise substantial care, so their mistakes are heavily scrutinized. Radiologists, emergency room doctors and primary care physicians are responsible for diagnosing patients -- which means an error can leave a condition unchecked. Other professions see fewer lawsuits because errors those professionals make may not have the same tremendous consequences for a patient.

Medical malpractice lawsuits can be filed when a doctor misdiagnoses a patient, performs a surgery incorrectly or administers the wrong drugs -- among other reasons. It's important that physicians are held accountable for their wrongdoing so that they don't repeat the same error twice. A Chicago medical malpractice attorney can advocate for your interests and help you secure compensation for the pain and suffering that you've endured.

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