Internal Medicine Physicians

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      Med-Mal Info for Internal Medicine Docs

      Internal medicine is a medical specialty focusing on disease in adults, including its diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Practitioners of internal medicine are called internists, and they should not be confused with similar specialists in family practice or general practice. According to the American College of Physicians, internists are defined explicitly as “physicians who specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illnesses in adults.” The specialty is extremely broad, so the American Board of Internal Medicine encompasses many subspecialties, including cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology, infectious disease, medical oncology, nephrology, pulmonology, rheumatology, adolescent medicine, clinical cardiac electrophysiology, critical care medicine, geriatric medicine, hospice and palliative medicine, sleep medicine and sports medicine.

      Since internal medicine and its subspecialties do not generally involve surgery or other high-risk procedures, medical malpractice insurers view the specialty as a relatively low risk, and premiums for internists’ insurance are at the lower end of the spectrum. Premiums are set differently by each insurer, with most considering specialty factors like geographic location, specific procedures and treatments performed as well as other details of the individual practice. One of the most important factors when an insurance carrier sets a price for Internal Medicine physician is the state in which the practice is located.

      In addition to taking extra care and becoming educated in these high-risk areas of internal medicine, physicians should employ generalized risk management techniques. Many malpractice insurers provide risk management techniques and advice for their policyholders free of charge, sometimes even offering risk management discounts on premiums. Risk management offerings can include courses and seminars, as well as physical inspections of the practice. Physicians who are concerned about their exposure to malpractice lawsuits should take advantage of these services.

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      This write-up for Internal Medicine Physicians was put together by Michael Matray, the Editor of the Medical Liability Monitor