Male Doctors More Than Twice as Likely to be Sued
According to a report published in BMC Medicine, male doctors are significantly more likely to face legal action than female doctors.
Researchers at University College London reviewed results from 32 studies regarding medico-legal action involving 40,246 cases around the world. Their findings showed that not only were male doctors two and a half times greater than female doctors to be sued, but the difference between sexes remained consistent over the past 15 years.
The study comes after a rise in recent years in the number of legal cases being brought against doctors. In the U.S., for instance, the number of state board disciplinary actions rose between 2008 and 2012, with a 17 percent increase in the number of revoked, denied or suspended medical licenses.
Possible explanations for the difference between legal action against male and female doctors are that male doctors may work more hours than female doctors and that male doctors have more interactions with patients.
Future studies will focus on trying to get a clearer undertanding of the higher level of legal action against male doctors.
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