Almost half of medical students in their third and fourth years say the malpractice environment is a factor in their choice of specialty, according to an AMA survey released today.
Although the AMA did not indicate how malpractice concerns influenced the students' choice of specialty, data on lawsuits shows that the highest malpractice risks are in OB/GYN, neurosurgery, emergency medicine, radiology and orthopedic surgery.
The AMA says its Division for Market Research and Analysis survey received responses from nearly 4,000 medical students in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
The survey also finds that:
- 86% of students indicated the issue of medical liability is a "crisis" or a "major problem."
- 39% said the malpractice environment was a factor in their decision about a state in which they would like to complete residency training.
- 69% of students whose professors discussed malpractice said those professors also discussed defensive medicine, including increasing unnecessary or excessive care.
- 61% of students say they are extremely concerned that the current malpractice environment is decreasing physicians' ability to provide quality care.