brand logo

Fam Pract Manag. 2003;10(2):14-17

To the Editor:

The article “Understanding the Physician Liability Insurance Crisis” [October 2002, page 47] failed to mention one aspect of the growing crisis. I would argue that as increasing numbers of physicians are employed by organizations, especially organizations not wholly owned by physicians, our malpractice risk increases. For example, accountants at my hospital system determine that we need to see more patients per hour, causing documentation patterns to change and the doctor-patient relationship to suffer. In this environment, the employed physician no longer represents the best interests of the patient, but now represents the needs of the organization.

I would argue that over the next decade, part of the insurance crisis could be solved by enabling physicians to once again be entrepreneurs. In the current climate, insurance costs make it next to impossible for someone to open a solo or private practice. However, it has been shown that a low-volume, high-intensity practice can survive financially, improve patient care and increase patient loyalty [“Going Solo: Making the Leap,” February 2002, page 29]. These factors will help drive down the cost of malpractice insurance.


Send your comments to Submission of a letter will be construed as granting AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. We cannot respond to all letters we receive. Those chosen for publication will be edited for length and style.

Continue Reading

More in FPM

More in PubMed

Copyright © 2003 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

This content is owned by the AAFP. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP.  See permissions for copyright questions and/or permission requests.