nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
See here for more discussion.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Some Data On Medical Malpractice In The US

Another perspective on tort reform in medicine, from the textbook Legal Medicine (5e, 2007) , via Kevin MD.

I don't have a lot of original thoughts to offer on the following.  The last time I looked at medical liability data, about half of doctors were being sued at some point in their career.  But this is shocking.  Now I wonder how I managed to practice (and run hospitals) without getting sued--for over 30 years. 
"Nearly 77% of obstetrician/gynecologists have been sued at least once in their career and almost half have been sued three or more times. ...The public has responded by escalating the “punishment” associated with malpractice claims where multimillion-dollar jury awards are commonplace."
"Obstetric claims account for the majority of claims against obstetrician/gynecologists, forcing many to change their practice either by stopping obstetric practice altogether, reducing high-risk deliveries, or reducing total deliveries....childbirth cases are routinely listed among the top jury awards."
You have to be pretty cynical to think that most doctors make lethal mistakes on a regular basis.  That's not been my experience.  But I suspect that the public doesn't think so either:  they think that insurance companies can afford to pay for bad results, whether or not anyone is at fault.

My first reaction is, why would anyone want to become an obstetrician?  Give me a moment...OK, the real reason they do is because they love bringing new life into the world, despite the potential liability. 
Alternatively, you may think that they are so ravenous for high income that they will gamble their reputation and medical practice against the odds of squeaking by without lawsuits.    I don't think so.
Less severe, I've heard people say, "You make a good income, that's the price you pay."  I guess so.  But I can't help a smidgen of bitterness about dragging my tired ass in at all hours over decades for someone in need.
OK, I got it out of my system.

No comments:

Post a Comment


What I'm Reading - Updated 3 May

Blog Archive