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Doctor Heal Thyself

Crain’s New York Business published an article last week about a team of obstetricians in New York City who say they have “beaten the odds” of medical malpractice lawsuits by dramatically reducing errors.

Despite a contradictory article in the same publication a week earlier by columnist Greg David, who claimed incorrectly that “there is no evidence that malpractice awards lead to better medical care,” this group of doctors at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell go on record saying new safety measures, which have led to the slashing of medical malpractice payouts by more than 99%, “is changing the culture [in the hospital] to make it safer to deliver babies.”

This article clearly speaks for itself. Practicing safe, evidence-based medicine that puts patients first and does not cause injury is the best thing possible to prevent lawsuits. The anesthesiology community decided about 20 years ago that they had to make big changes to keep patients safe. They did, and malpractice incidents and cases dropped dramatically.

Automakers don’t blame lawyers. Instead, they spend money to make safer cars. Doctor heal thyself, has never been more true.