Perspective: Malpractice in an Academic Medical Center: a Frequently Overlooked Aspect of Professionalism Education
Understanding how medical malpractice occurs and is resolved is important to improving patient safety and preserving the viability of a physician’s career in academic medicine. Every physician is likely to be sued by a patient, and how the physician responds can change his or her professional life. However, the principles of medical malpractice are rarely taught or addressed during residency training. In fact, many faculty at academic medical centers know little about malpractice. In this article, the authors propose that information about the inciting causes of malpractice claims and their resolution should be incorporated into residency professionalism curricula both to improve patient safety and to decrease physician anxiety about a crucial aspect of medicine that is not well understood.