Acta Orthopaedica et Traumatologica Turcica
Research Article

Effect of malpractice claims on orthopedic and traumatology physicians in Turkey: A survey study

1.

Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Health Sciences University Turkey, Metin Sabancı Baltalimanı Bone Diseases Training and Research Center, İstanbul, Turkey

2.

Department of Education, Health Sciences University Turkey, Metin Sabancı Baltalimanı Bone Diseases Training and Research Center, İstanbul, Turkey

3.

Department of Psychiatry, Health Sciences University Turkey, Metin Sabancı Baltalimanı Bone Diseases Training and Research Center, İstanbul, Turkey

4.

Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Demiroğlu Bilim University, İstanbul, Turkey

AOTT 2021; 55: 171-176
DOI: 10.5152/j.aott.2021.20167
Read: 95 Downloads: 19 Published: 06 April 2021

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the malpractice claims experienced by orthopedic and traumatology physicians and to determine their effects on burnout, job satisfaction, and clinical practice.

Methods: A questionnaire survey was conducted on orthopedic and traumatology specialists between May 2019 and February 2020. Data collection was carried out via e-survey at “turk-ortopedi” mail group, which is an electronic communication network of orthopedic and traumatology physicians. For data collection, sociodemographic data forms were used including the general characteristics, working conditions, and the malpractice claim events along with the Maslach Burnout Inventory scale to evaluate burnout and the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire to investigate job satisfaction. 

Results: In total, 353 orthopedic and traumatology physicians (348 men, 5 women), including 37 professors, 41 associate professors, and 275 surgeons, completed the questionnaire. In total, 65.4% of the participants (231 physicians and 471 relevant dossiers) stated that they were currently facing a malpractice claim. Emotional burnout and hesitant behavior in medical practices were significantly higher among the physicians who had undergone an investigation/trial with the claim of malpractice (p<0.05), whereas intrinsic job satisfaction was significantly lower (p<0.05). It was determined that orthopedic and traumatology physicians dealing with arthroplasty, vertebral surgery, hand surgery, and foot/ankle surgeries had undergone significantly more trials (p<0.05). In the evaluation of the burnout levels and job satisfaction scores of the physicians according to the age, academic title, seniority, and institution, it was determined that burnout level decreased with age, those between the ages of 25 and 34 years were exhausted the most, and job satisfaction increased with age. It was also found that burnout level decreased and job satisfaction increased as the academic title became higher, and attending physicians were the most exhausted. Moreover, burnout level decreased as seniority increased, the most senior ones were the ones most exhausted, and job satisfaction increased with seniority.

Conclusion: Evidence from this study has revealed that malpractice claims cause emotional burnout, low intrinsic job satisfaction, and a hesitant behavior in medical practice for the orthopedic and traumatology physicians. The concept of malpractice alone may result in unnecessary analyses/examinations for patients.
Level of Evidence: Level IV, Diagnostic Study

Cite this article as: Dırvar F, Uzun Dırvar S, Kaygusuz MA, Evren B, Öztürk İ. Effect of malpractice claims on orthopedic and traumatology physicians in Turkey: A survey study. Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc 2021; 55(2): 171-6.

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ISSN 1017-995X EISSN 2589-1294