For those seeking professional health care, it’s important to know what areas of care are subject to the most malpractice claims. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine analyzed data on claims according to specialty, claims resulting in payment according to specialty, and the median amount of payment according to specialty. The following are results from the study. Please note that values are approximate.
Claims According to Specialty
The top 5 specialties with the highest percentage of claims annually:
- Neurosurgery ~ 19% of neurosurgeons faced a malpractice claim
- Thoracic-cardiovascular surgery ~ 19% faced a claim.
- General surgery ~ 15% faced a claim.
- Orthopedic surgery ~ 14% faced a claim.
- Plastic surgery ~ 13% faced a claim.
Claims with a Payment to a Plaintiff
The top five specialties in which a claim resulted in a payment to a plaintiff:
- General surgery ~ 4% of claims resulted in payment.
- Thoracic-cardiovascular surgery ~ 4% of claims resulted in payment.
- Orthopedic surgery ~ 4% of claims resulted in payment.
- Neurosurgery ~ 3% of claims resulted in payment.
- Gynecology ~ 3% of claims resulted in payment.
Median Payment By Specialty
The top five median values for payment by specialty:
- Neurosurgery ~ $220,000
- Neurology ~ $195,000
- Internal medicine ~ $185,000
- Pulmonary medicine ~ $180,000
- General surgery ~ $175,000