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May 1975

Survey of Malpractice Claims in Dermatology

Arch Dermatol. 1975;111(5):641-644. doi:10.1001/archderm.1975.01630170099016

A statistical survey of malpractice claims asserted against dermatologists was made. The subject matter of the claims was divided into eight major categories: (1) drug reactions, (2) x-ray burns, (3) poor cosmetic result following surgery, (4) poor cosmetic result following medication, (5) failure to diagnose cancer, (6) improper diagnosis, (7) infection from treatment, and (8) miscellaneous. The study showed that a group of "serious" damage cases, which accounted for 34% of total claims, generated 94% of total dollar losses. The problem areas for malpractice claims appeared to be drug reactions, cosmetic chemosurgery, and failure to diagnose cancer.