Academic and trainee empirical review of cases by state of Texas physicians

Timothy Craig Allen, Mehary Stafford, Bryan A. Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study examines whether the assumptions that pathologists understand the medical malpractice negligence rule and have a clear single standard of care are reasonable. Methods: Two hundred eighty-one Texas academic pathologists and trainees were presented 10 actual pathology malpractice cases from publicly available sources, representing the tort system's signal. Results: Of the respondents, 55.52% were trainees, and 44.48% were pathology faculty. Only in two cases did more than 50% of respondents correctly identify the behavior of pathologists as defined by legal outcomes. In only half of the cases did more than 50% of pathologists concur with the jury verdict. Conclusions: This study provides further evidence that physicians do not understand the legal rule of negligence. Pathologists have a poor understanding of negligence and cannot accurately predict a jury verdict. There is significant divergence from the single standard of care assumption. Alternative methods to provide appropriate compensation and to establish physician accountability should be explored. Additional education about medical negligence is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-509
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • AP general
  • Economic evaluation
  • Management/administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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