What takes up about 10 percent of a physician’s career, according to a new study released by researchers from Harvard Medical School and RAND Corporation?

Malpractice claims, according to a Rueters report.

 

Physicians on average spend over 10 percent of their careers fighting medical malpractice claims, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard Medical School and the RAND Corporation.

The study, reported on Monday in Health Affairs, is part of a larger project to understand how malpractice claims work and how to improve their efficiency. While concerns about the U.S. medical malpractice system often focus on the expense of litigation, the researchers set out to examine another cost: time.

Using a database from a large national insurance firm that wasn’t identified, the researchers examined medical malpractice claims made against over 40,000 physicians. The report’s authors found that the average physician spends over four years, or 10 percent of an assumed 40-year career, facing unresolved malpractice claims. The bulk of that time was spent on claims that were later dropped or dismissed, never resulting in payment, the study found.

 

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