Survey Shows Doctors Overtreat to Avoid Malpractice Suits
According to a recent survey, over ninety percent of doctors say that they overtest and overtreat as a way to protect themselves from medical malpractice lawsuits. The findings of the survey aligned with another published by the Associated Press that found that emergency room doctors overtreat in order to avoid malpractice suits.
The survey asked simply, "Do physicians order more tests and procedures than patients need to protect themselves from malpractice suits?" and, "Are protections against unwarranted malpractice lawsuits needed to decrease the unnecessary use of diagnostic tests?" Not surprisingly, ninety-one percent of doctors answered "yes" to both statements.
Dr. Tara Bishop found the results to be quite accurate. She said, "When you sit around at a dinner party with doctors, malpractice fears and a kind of hatred of the malpractice system really comes up as a common theme." Overtreatment costs the US healthcare system billions of dollars every year.