The medical profession requires skill and specialisation. Doctors occasionally commit unintentional mistakes that may cost the life of a patient or cause disabilities. The risk of an error is more for a specialist who performs complex procedures.
There are some high-risk specialities and this group of doctors faces more malpractice claims.
Let’s take a look at these groups:
Obstetrics or Gynaecology
Obstetricians and gynaecologists face a high number of complaints from patients. This is because a small mistake on the part of these doctors can affect the life of a newborn. These doctors are more prone to negligence claims. The claims also tend to be of large amounts because a new born’s life and future are involved.
Neurosurgery deals with two important parts of the body – the brain and spine. Neurosurgeons have a high chance of claims since even a small error can lead to permanent damage and irreparable disability.
Cosmetic surgeries are risky because patients might not get the desired results. The persons opting for cosmetic surgery are the well-to-do. This group has the financial resources to litigate if they are unhappy with the cosmetic outcomes.
This is another domain where doctors constantly face legal suits due to an error in treatment or negligence.
Anaesthetists fall in the highest risk category as rated by insurers. This is because they are involved in multiple high-risk situations every day. Since anaesthetists are part of surgeries they will be named in a negligence case even if it was the main surgeon’s mistake.
Intensive care surgeons
Intensive care surgeons face emergency issues in the ICU. They need to make split-second decisions and sometimes the outcome may be bad even if they take the right decisions. So, this specialisation, too, falls in the high-risk category and is prone to legal cases.
The reasons for dentists and cosmetic surgeons to be in the high-risk category are the same. It is the wealthier persons that visit dentists and a mistake can impact facial appearance.
It is not only doctors for humans that are high risk, vets are too. Many, certainly the author of this blog, love animals and react angrily in cases of negligence. Many vets do not know that they are eligible for professional indemnity but they are.
These specialists must be insured under a Doctor’s Professional Indemnity insurance policy. The policy covers medical malpractice and negligence claims and legal costs.
The above-mentioned doctors should have the highest insurance coverage amount as they are likely to face the maximum and the most substantial litigation claims.