Medscape Malpractice Report 2021

The Medscape Malpractice Report 2021 was released on November 19, 2021. The researchers surveyed 4,358 doctors across 29 specialties online from May 21, 2021 through August 28, 2021 and found that overall, physicians in the United States experienced a decrease in medical malpractice suits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Significant Findings

1. Fifty-one percent of the respondents had been sued at least once.

2. Failure to diagnose (31%) and treatment complications (29%) were the leading reasons for medical malpractice claims, which is consistent with prior surveys.

3. The four specialities sued the most often for medical malpractice were plastic surgeons and general surgeons (both 83 percent), orthopedists (81 percent), and urologists (80 percent).

4. Fifty-four percent of physicians were surprised that they were sued for medical malpractice while 32% were “somewhat surprised.”

5. Fifty-four percent of the respondents stated that it was possible to identify patients who may sue for medical malpractice.

6. Eighty-three percent stated that the medical malpractice lawsuit was unwarranted (7% stated that the lawsuit was warranted).

7. Thirty-three perscent of the physicians surveyed stated that the medical malpractice lawsuits against them were settled before trial, while 2% stated that the plaintiff won their lawsuit as a result of trial. For the plaintiffs who received a monetary payment, 90% of them received $1 million or less.

8. Sixty-one percent of surveyed physicians felt that the outcome of the medical malpractice lawsuit was fair.

9. Seventy-nine percent believed that saying “I’m sorry” would not have prevented a medical malpractice coaim (2% felt that an apology would have prevented a subsequent lawsuit).

10. Twenty-nine percent felt that the medical malpractice claim negatively effected their overall medical career.

11. Twenty-four percent of respondents who faced a medical malpractice lawsuit stated that they no longer trusted patients or treated patents differently; 7% left their practice setting.

12. None of the respondents reported being subject to a medical malpractice claim that is COVID-19-related. Even so, 13% were concerned about being sued for medical malpractice for a COVID-19-related issue that occurred during the pandemic.

13. Nine percent reported being named in a medical malpractice lawsuit involving the action of a nurse practitioner or physician assistant.

14. Sixty-one percent of specialists reported being sued while 45 percent of primary care physicians reported having been sued for medical malpractice.

15. Sixty-three percent of primary care physicians reported paying less than $20,000 per year for medical malpractice insurance (29% did not known how much they paid) and 52% of specialists paid less than $20,000 per year (23% did not know how much they paid).

Demographics Of The Respondents

Sixty-five percent of the respondents were male, and 53% were in practice for 25 or more years. Seventy-eight percent of the respondents were 50 years old or older.


If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of medical malpractice in the United States, you should promptly find a medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

Visit our website or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys in your state who may assist you.

Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 9th, 2022 at 5:26 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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