Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Physicians Who Build Rapport with PatientsApril 18, 2016
The percentage of physicians who have been sued at some point over the course of their career is quite high. In fact, according to a recent Medscape survey of nearly 4,000 physicians, 59 percent had been named as a defendant in a medical malpractice suit. And according to a 2010 survey by the American Medical Association, the chances of getting sued goes up to 61 percent toward the end of a physician’s career.
Some specialties, like obstetrics and gynecology are particularly prone to medical malpractice lawsuits. As a result, many physicians resort to “defensive medicine,” meaning they will order additional tests, encourage more office visits and recommend extra procedures in the hopes that it will reduce the likelihood of being sued. Unfortunately, this does not seem to have much of an impact on whether a patient decides to pursue legal action.
Patients are more likely to file a lawsuit if there was a bad medical outcome. However, not all doctors get sued if a patient dies unexpectedly or experienced other negative results such as becoming permanently disabled. In fact, The New England Journal of Medicine reported that one percent of physicians accounted for 32 percent of all paid malpractice claims. One might assume that these are simply bad doctors. However, it is quite possible that it has a lot to do with the communication skills – or lack thereof – that they have with their patients.
Communication Makes a Difference
Doctors who take the time to explain the recommended course of action, answer any questions a patient might have and communicate with family members are less likely to be sued. Building a rapport with patients, showing a genuine interest in patients’ lives and asking questions about fears or concerns can help build a relationship based on trust.
The Medscape survey found that male doctors are more likely to be sued than female physicians, which is likely because women tend to be better communicators. It also found that graduates of foreign medical schools are more likely to be sued than graduates of domestic medical schools, which again, speaks to communication skills. While it goes without saying that medical professionals must be highly skilled when it comes to providing quality care to patients, communication is also very important in establishing confidence between patient and physician.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Handle All Aspects of Medical Malpractice Claims
If you have not received the standard of care that you deserve from your physician, contact our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will guide you through every step of the claims process, making sure that you receive the optimal financial compensation. For a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to represent clients and their families throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.