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Comment & Response |

We Have Strict Statutes and Most Biting Laws—Reply

Gordon D. Schiff, MD1,2; Madeleine Biondolillo, MD3,4
[+] Author Affiliations
1Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
2Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
3Bureau of Healthcare Safety and Quality, Boston, Massachusetts
4Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(7):1202-1203. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.764.
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In Reply We thank Dr Harris for acknowledging the importance of malpractice risk that primary care physicians (and, we would add, their patients) painfully face, particularly the significant burden that the 3.3% annual rate translates to as it cumulatively accrues over a physician’s career. Dr Harris’ calculations, as well our findings, are consistent with other reported data.1,2 Aside from emphasis on the high statistical lifetime likelihood that a primary care physician might be sued, the author points out the value of the “identification of the breakdowns in care,” as well as raising the potential for resulting “defensive” medical practices.

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July 1, 2014
Rebecca Arden Harris, MD
1Department of Family and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(7):1202. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.767.
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