The Pareto Principle in Medicine: Why Just a Few Doctors Are Responsible for Most Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice is far too common. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States. But while many patients fall victim to negligence in the healthcare industry, most medical professionals abide by an impressive standard of care. The exceptions, however, cause horrific suffering. The Pareto principle may explain this apparent discrepancy, as we demonstrate below:

What Is the Pareto Principle? How Does it Apply to Medical Malpractice?

A common concept in everything from sales to HR, the Pareto principle states that 80 percent of the results in any given situation come from 20 percent of the causes. For example, in sales, experts often claim that 80 percent of sales involve 20 percent of clients.

When applied to medical malpractice, the Pareto principle indicates that just 20 percent of healthcare workers are responsible for 80 percent of malpractice claims. If this theory is to be believed, a world of pain and suffering could be avoided if the few negligent employees in our hospitals and clinics were brought to justice or removed from the industry altogether.

Data That Supports the Pareto Principle’s Role in Malpractice

Data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) appears to confirm the presence of the Pareto principle in medicine. In medical malpractice trials and verdicts observed by the BJS, approximately half were brought against surgeons, who only make up a small percentage of the entire medical workforce. This disproportionate share of lawsuits may, however, stem from the increased risk present in surgery, where negligence can have a far greater impact.

Whether or not the Pareto principle is at play in your malpractice case, you can benefit from working with an aggressive attorney. Contact Regan Zambri Long PLLC at your earliest convenience to learn more about our medical malpractice services.