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Topics in Practice Management |

The Basics of Medical Malpractice: A Primer on Navigating the System

Mary Ellen Nepps, JD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Office of the General Counsel, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Correspondence to: Mary Ellen Nepps, JD, Senior Counsel, University of Pennsylvania, Office of the General Counsel, 133 S Thirty-Sixth St, Suite 300, Philadelphia, PA 19104; e-mail: maryellen.nepps@ogc.upenn.edu


The author has reported to the ACCP that no significant conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org/misc/reprints.shtml).

For related article see page 1044

For editorial comment see page 901


Chest. 2008;134(5):1051-1055. doi:10.1378/chest.08-0186
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Medical malpractice with its associated costs, including insurance premiums, impact on practice, consequences for career and insurability, and emotional toll, is a reality of practicing medicine in the United States. Understanding the types of claims that may be asserted, the issues to consider when securing insurance coverage, how to manage the cost of insurance, the nuances of the claims process, and the implications of the claims process are critical to the successful management of this aspect of medical practice. This article provides a guide for practicing physicians on the legal, financial, and practical considerations involved.


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