Survey: Younger physicians taught defensive medicine

August 20, 2010

Not only are the majority of physicians practicing defensive medicine in the United States, younger physicians are taught to do so by mentors and peers, according to a new ebook.

Not only are the majority of physicians practicing defensive medicine in the United States, younger physicians are taught to do so by mentors and peers, according to "A Costly Defense," an eBook released by staffing firm Jackson Healthcare.

Jackson's physician data were gathered from a series of online physician surveys conducted between October 2009 and May 2010. Physicians who reported practicing defensive medicine estimated that 35 percent of diagnostic tests, 29 percent of laboratory tests, 19 percent of hospitalizations, 14 percent of prescriptions, and 8 percent of surgeries were ordered in their practices to avoid medical malpractice lawsuits.

Seventy-one percent of respondents reported that defensive medicine has had a negative effect on the way they view patients and has led them to believe that lawsuits have come between them and their patients (67 percent).