Factors impacting perceived threat of malpractice lawsuits by various medical specialists

Health Care Manag (Frederick). Jan-Mar 2011;30(1):55-65. doi: 10.1097/HCM.0b013e3182078ba4.

Abstract

A study was undertaken to examine perceived threat of malpractice lawsuits affecting different physician specialties and to examine factors that impact such perceptions of those specialties. The study used data collected by the Center for Studying Health System Change's 2008 Health Tracking Physician (HTP) Survey. The 2008 HTP data set consisted of 4720 physicians belonging to the American Medical Association. Primary care physicians, medical specialists, surgical specialists, psychiatrists, and obstetricians/gynecologists (ObGyns) physicians participated in the 2008 HTP Survey. The order (from high to low) of perceived threat of malpractice lawsuits for various specialists is surgical specialists (3.87), ObGyns (3.81), medical specialists (3.60), primary care physicians (3.55), and psychiatrists (3.12). Regression results indicate that patient interaction, insufficient care quality, competition, medical school, age, and career satisfaction impacted perceived threat of malpractice lawsuits for most of the specialties. For ObGyns, white non-Hispanic was the only factor that impacted perceived threat of malpractice lawsuits. The perceived threat of malpractice lawsuits varies by specialists. Patient interaction, insufficient care quality, competition, medical school, and career satisfaction are major predictors of such threats for most physician specialties.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malpractice*
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Specialization*
  • United States