Top 5 Reasons for Internal Medicine Malpractice

Research published in the Journal of American Medical Association: Internal Medicine has shed light on the five main reasons internists are sued. Researchers analyzed nearly 250,000 closed medical malpractice claims presented to Physicians Insurers Association of America between 1985 and 2009 and found 33,747 of those cases involved internal medicine clinicians. Those cases were then categorized into the five most common reasons.

  1. Incorrect Diagnosis of Primary Medical Condition. Representing 34% of claims paid, with a median payout of $183,000, misdiagnosis seems like a logical #1 reason for malpractice. In a field where diagnosing patients is the specialty, the fact that this type of claim accounted for over one-quarter of all closed claims is alarming.
  2. Breach of Care Due to Other Shortcomings. This includes items that are not necessarily errors in the dispensing of medical care, but rather, external factors such as, breakdown of equipment or failure to obtain consent. This was the second most frequently noted type of claim that paid out in 4.8% of all closed cases, for a median sum of $114,150.
  3. Errors in Performance of Procedures. Representing 11.1% of all closed internal medicine malpractice claims, less than one-third of the claims were paid. The median payment was $103,203.
  4. Failure to Monitor Subordinates. Certainly, there are conditions under which a reasonable person would realize that a physician could not be responsible for mistakes made by his assistants, or subordinates. On the other hand, there are some situations where a nurse or resident is acting as a proxy for the physician, and physicians are responsible for setting expectations and monitoring the work of their subordinates. With a median sum of $141,875, 31.1% of closed claims in this category were paid.
  5. Incorrect Prescription or Administration of Drugs. This type of claim accounted for the smallest percentage of malpractice claims. Administering wrong dosages, failing to enquire about known allergies, and prescribing medication with documented side effects and failing to follow up with patients about undesirable reactions, are all examples of this kind of claim.

Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If your life has been forever changed because of a medical malpractice injury, you have legal rights. Proving medical malpractice can be a complicated and time-consuming ordeal. The compassionate medical malpractice attorneys at Golomb Legalunderstand that you have already been through enough, and we want to help you move on with your life by getting you the compensation you deserve.