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Medical malpractice can come from tired doctors in Pennsylvania

People in Pennsylvania, like others across the nation, go to the doctor or hospital when they are sick or injured. While in the care of their physician, they hope to improve or, at a minimum, not become worse. When this doesn't happen and a person dies or becomes ill as a result of the negligent actions of a doctor, a medical malpractice claim may be necessary.

Readers in Pennsylvania may be interested to learn about a new report created in part by a professor at one of our state's top universities. In it, the researchers looked at the number of hours that interns work in hospitals and the numbers of mistakes that are made that result in harm to patients. The study came on the heels of recent changes made in medical school programs across the country that required large number of hours worked for medical students.

The reports indicated that medical interns have been working fewer hours since the changes made in 2011. However, the numbers of those who are injured as a result of medical malpractice from interns has increased. Before 2011, 19.9 percent of interns told researchers that they made medical mistakes that harmed patients. After 2011, the number had increased to 23.3 percent, a 20 percent uptick.

While in a hospital, those of us who are ill or injured hope to be cured. However, when that does not happen, and the injuries are increased as a result of medical malpractice, a person may find that they are able to make a claim against the doctor or hospital deemed to be at fault under our state's personal injury laws. These laws are intended to help people recover from the effects of a doctor's actions and may result in payments for damages to the person who suffered while trying to get help.

Source:, "Fewer Hours for Doctors in Training Leading to More Mistakes," Alexandra Sifferlin, March 26, 2013

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