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Which Medical Fields Have The Highest Rate of Malpractice?

surgeon performing an operation

Medical malpractice is a serious issue, and it's essential to understand which medical fields have the highest claims rate. This blog post will examine three of the most commonly cited medical fields concerning malpractice claims; Neurosurgery, Thoracic-cardiovascular surgery, and General surgery. We will discuss what factors lead to higher rates of malpractice claims in these areas and how injured parties can take action if they believe they have been wronged by a medical professional.


Neurosurgery is a field of modern medicine that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of nervous system disorders. Neurosurgeons perform intricate operations on the brain, spine, and other parts of the human nervous system. Such procedures range from bulging disc removals to complex operations performed on intracranial vessels, spinal areas, and peripheral nerves.

According to data from the New England Journal of Medicine, neurosurgery is one of the most commonly cited medical fields when it comes to malpractice claims, with a 19.1 percent chance of a neurosurgeon facing a medical malpractice claim during a 14-year period. The Journal of Neurosurgery revealed that the primary factor contributing to medical malpractice claims (42 percent of claims) is "improper performance," meaning the physician's performance during surgery. The most common condition (20.6 percent of claims) associated with medical malpractice claims is "intervertebral disc pathology."

Thoracic-Cardiovascular Surgery

Thoracic-cardiovascular surgery is a specialized field of medicine in which surgeons diagnose and treat diseases that affect the cardiovascular system or chest. The goal of thoracic-cardiovascular surgery is to improve the lung, heart, and veins' overall functioning by repairing any damage that has been done to them.

This field is among the top medical fields in terms of malpractice claims, with an 18.9 percent probability of a physician facing a claim. Some of the most common causes for a malpractice claim include injury due to:

General Surgery

General surgery is a critically important field of medicine that focuses on the tissues and organs of the alimentary canal and abdominal contents. Physicians in this specialty diagnose and treat conditions ranging from benign tumors to stomach ulcers and appendicitis.

Doctors in this specialty have a 15.3 percent probability of facing a medical malpractice claim. Reasons for medical malpractice claims in this field include:

  • Wrong site procedure
  • Organ or tissue damage
  • Leaving medical instruments inside the patient

Related Reading: "What is a Never Event?"

Those who feel like their doctor wronged them should know that they do have legal recourse available if they believe their doctor was negligent or careless when providing treatment; consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney can help determine what steps should be taken next if you think your doctor committed malpractice against you or someone you love. Knowing which fields in which malpractice tends to occur more frequently can help ensure that you remain safe while receiving necessary medical treatments from qualified professionals who uphold ethical standards within their field!

Boston, MA Medical Malpractice Attorneys

At Crowe & Harris, LLP, our Boston medical malpractice attorneys are committed to helping people who've been wronged by their doctor. We understand the pain and frustration that come with being a victim of medical negligence, and we're here to make sure you get the justice you deserve.

Contact us today for a free consultation at (617) 404-3417 or online!

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