Patient Safety | 06.07.22
Doctor's 'Mood' Likely to Increase Their Risk of Being Sued
According to a new University of Melbourne study, Australian doctors are more likely to be sued for medical negligence if they are unhappy, overworked, working in remote areas, or if they have suffered a recent injury or illness. The Australian-first research further found that doctors with an "agreeable" personality were less likely to be sued. For their results, the research team led by Dr. Owen Bradfield and Professor Matthew Spittal analyzed the responses of more than 12,000 Australian doctors to the Medicine in Australia Balancing Employment and Life survey between 2013 and 2018. Doctors who took part in the poll answered questions about their age, sex, specialty, personality, health, life satisfaction, working conditions, and whether they had previously been sued. "This allowed us to analyze and correlate work, health and personality factors with a doctor's risk of being sued," stated Bradfield said. Slightly more than 5 percent of the doctors surveyed reported being named in a medical negligence claim during this period. The findings were more pronounced for male doctors than female.