Risk Management

How to Educate Yourself on Malpractice Risk Even Before You Begin Practice

During your career, you’ll spend $250,000 to $500,000 on malpractice insurance. Making smart decisions early on can help lessen the financial burden. Here are some tips on getting up to speed on malpractice insurance prior to completing your residency or fellowship:

Participate in Risk Management

If you should be unfortunate enough to have a large malpractice settlement or judgment against you, it could follow you throughout your career. You may be forced into a non-standard insurance market that increases your premiums substantially. It may have ramifications on your application or credentialing for various organizations. Do your best to avoid being in this situation by following good ethics, practicing conservatively, and staying educated on loss prevention strategies. In OMIC’s case, we look at standard of care, documentation, and ethics much more carefully when evaluating past claim history than we do the amounts cases were settled for. We do not have a perfect legal system. Sometimes in the lack of any malpractice, claims are settled or plantiffs are awarded damages. Conversely, sometimes even when no payment was made or the case ended with a defense verdict, there could have been concerns about the SOC (or other factors). By following a thorough and conservative practice pattern, even in the case of serious outcomes such as total blindness, cases are easier to defend and it’s more likely you will not have problems with obtaining coverage.

OMIC provides credit for any course taken up to 12 months before joining, therefore you can earn a discount on your first premium with OMIC by participating when you are still a resident or fellow. We will keep records of your attendance but you can also indicate the details of the OMIC course you participated in on your initial application with OMIC and we’ll make sure you get your credit. View the OMIC Calendar for upcoming seminars. Related reading: >> See the bottom-line effects of risk management credits over time

Take a Tour of OMIC’s Web Site

The Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company is not like other insurance carriers. We are devoted to our single specialty of ophthalmology, we are owned by our 4500+ ophthalmologist policyholders and we are governed by practicing ophthalmologists. You can think of us more like an Academy sponsored risk management program that strives to prevent ophthalmologists from being the targets of litigation and if necessary vigorously defend our insured and our specialty within the legal system. To this end, we have amassed a vast library of resources and tools including hundreds of consent forms, recommendations, protocols, articles, case studies, and sample letters. We make our information available to everyone, whether insured (or intend to be insured) or not, with the hope that these materials will improve patient safety and strengthen the entire specialty. In the end a rising tide lifts all boats, as they say. OMIC’s site has four main pages, Risk Management, Policyholder Services, News, and About Us, you may want to start exploring there. Take some time to navigate the site and give us your suggestions on how we can continue to improve.

Support Your Local Societies

OMIC partners with almost every ophthalmic society in the United States to disseminate education and provide jointly-sponsored events. We provide special premium discounts for events approved by our partners that pay most or all of the cost of membership so your support is easier than ever. Be in the habit of supporting local lobbying efforts as the “front lines” are where most of the battles for scope of practice and tort reform are waged. Find out if your state, subspecialty, or special interest ophthalmic society has a current partnership with OMIC by viewing our Educational Alliances page.

Contact OMIC

OMIC representatives are available to help you understand any ophthalmic malpractice insurance or risk management issue. Although our Hotline is available exclusively for policyholders once you start practice, we are happy to provide young ophthalmologists guidance when you need it. If we can help you, we will. So give us a call and let us know what is on your mind. There are no silly questions to us. Start by calling Reana at (800) 562-6642, ext. 661 and she will help you or get you to someone who can. We look forward to hearing from you!

Please refer to OMIC's Copyright and Disclaimer regarding the contents on this website

Leave a comment

Six reasons OMIC is the best choice for ophthalmologists in America.

#6. Supporting your specialty.

OMIC was founded by members of the American Academy of Ophthalmology nearly a quarter century ago and is the only carrier sponsored and endorsed by AAO. OMIC is also endorsed by 40 other ophthalmic societies. The OMIC partnerships with state and subspecialty societies qualifies their members for an exclusive 8% premium credit. Contact your state society for details.