Understanding The Importance Of Motorcycle Insurance

A Brief Medical Malpractice Insurance Guide For Newly Practicing Physicians

by Raymond Gibson

Medical school taught you everything you needed to know about being an excellent physician. However, it might not have provided you with as much information about medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is the darker side of healthcare, but it is a potential threat that every healthcare provider faces. As you branch out and begin your career, make sure you have a malpractice policy that protects you.

Understand What Medical Malpractice Is

It's essential you know what medical malpractice is. Yes, scenarios involving gross negligence, such as causing fatal injuries or leaving surgical instruments inside of a patient, surely fit the bill. However, this term can apply to more things. 

For instance, prescribing new medications without verifying a patient's health history, misdiagnosing an illness, and even failing to follow up with patients can all be classified as malpractice. Don't assume that you have to fatally injure someone to need coverage. Every practicing physician needs to be protected, as there is no way to eliminate the risk of human error. 

Secure Coverage First

If you are a recent graduate, you probably completed your residency under the direction of a teaching medical facility. Often, these institutions cover students under a blanket malpractice policy. However, the moment your residency ends, this protection does not follow you. If you partner with another healthcare facility, they might provide coverage for you. 

However, typically, a practicing physician will need to provide their own malpractice coverage, especially if they are working in a private practice. You should liken the importance of having a malpractice policy before you begin working to the importance of wearing gloves to protect yourself and your patients.

Get All-Inclusive Coverage

Always read the terms of any policy you plan to purchase and ensure it is all-inclusive. For instance, some standard policies only offer coverage to the physician and any malpractice that he or she is physically responsible for. However, with this type of policy, if a nurse or another professional is to blame, there might not be any coverage. 

The patient can then come after the physician since they are the owner of the practice. Plans with extra coverage options like vicarious liability protect you even if you are not directly responsible for the incident but are instead the leader of the team or owner of the practice. 

If you have questions about a policy, ask a medical malpractice insurance professional. They will likely be more than happy to discuss the available options you have and help you select the appropriate type of coverage.