Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 26, Issue 7, pp 806–809

Professionally Responsible Malpractice Reform


DOI: 10.1007/s11606-011-1635-7

Cite this article as:
Brody, H. & Hermer, L.D. J GEN INTERN MED (2011) 26: 806. doi:10.1007/s11606-011-1635-7


Medical malpractice reform is both necessary and desirable, yet certain types of reform are clearly preferable to others. We argue that “traditional” tort reform remedies such as stringent damage caps not only fail to address the root causes of negligence and the adverse effects that fear of suit can have on physicians, but also fail to address the needs of patients. Physicians ought to view themselves as professionals who are dedicated to putting patients’ interests ahead of their own. Professionally responsible malpractice reform should therefore be at least as patient-centered as it is physician-centered. Examples of more professionally responsible malpractice reform exist where institutions take a pro-active approach to identification, investigation, and remediation of possible malpractice. Such programs should be implemented more generally, and state laws enacted to facilitate them.


medical malpractice professionalism tort reform patient-centered 

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for the Medical HumanitiesUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA
  2. 2.Family MedicineUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA

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