Medscape Cardiologist Malpractice Report 2019, published on January 22, 2020, reported that 65% of the cardiologists completing a survey reported that they had been named as a defendant in at least one medical malpractice lawsuit, compared to 59% for physicians overall. The cardiologists reported that the medical malpractice claims involved wrongful death in 34% of the cases, and failure to diagnose/delayed diagnosis was claimed in 34% of the medical malpractice claims filed against them.
57% of the cardiologists reported that they were “completely shocked” that they were being sued for medical malpractice (52% of overall physicians reported same). 86% of the cardiologists responded that the medical malpractice claims filed against them were unwarranted (only 7% reported that the medical malpractice claims were warranted). 50% of the cardiologists reported that they could not recall a specific incident that would cause a medical malpractice claim to be filed against them.
30% reported that the medical malpractice lawsuit was settled before trial, with 17% reporting a verdict in their favor and only 3% reporting a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. 61% felt that the outcome was fair. 54% reported that medical organizations or societies are not doing enough to discourage medical malpractice lawsuits.
67% reported that they believe that patients blame bad outcomes on their cardiologists because the patients do not understand the medical risks (28% blame lawyers who constantly advertise to obtain new clients). Only 12% believe that doctors and hospitals make too many preventable errors.
88% of the cardiologists reported having medical malpractice insurance coverage, compared to 94% reported by overall physicians. Of those cardiologists reporting that they had medical malpractice insurance, 42% reported that they were encouraged to settle and 19% reported that they were required to settle.
As a result of being sued for medical malpractice, 34% of the cardiologists reported that they no longer trust their patients or they treat patients differently (3% left the practice setting).
Most settlements or judgments against cardiologists resulted in a payment of $500,000 or less. Only 12% were in excess of $1 million.
Looking back in hindsight, 23% reported that they would have documented the chart better and 13% reported that they would have ordered tests to better protect them from a medical malpractice claim. 77% believed that saying sorry to the patient or apologizing to the patient would not have made a difference.
There were 131 cardiologists surveyed between August 6, 2019 and September 26, 2019. 89% of the cardiologists surveyed were male. Participants were required to be practicing in the United States and provide their responses to the 10-minute survey online. As an incentive, physicians who completed the survey were offered the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.
If you or a loved one were injured (or worse) as a result of the medical negligence of a cardiologist in the United States, you should promptly find a local medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your cardiologist medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a cardiology medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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