Lessons Learned - Plastic Surgery Closed Claims Study: An Expert Analysis of Medical Malpractice Allegations


This course is based on the findings of a study conducted by The Doctors Company that analyzed 415 claims that closed against plastic surgeons (July 2015 - December 2018). The course sheds light on what motivated patients to pursue claims, helps practices to gain a broader overview of the system failures and processes that result in patient harm, and risk mitigation strategies that can be implemented to decrease the risk of injury, thereby improving the quality of care.

Course ID #: TDE 200819.0 Issue Date: 11/09/2020 Expiration Date: 11/09/2023


After completing this activity, learners will be able to:

  • Develop more defensive medicine practices based on the most frequent allegations related to care provided by plastic surgeons based on the analysis of malpractice claims
  • Revaluate high-risk procedures and reduce the most common types and causes of injuries to patients undergoing plastic surgery
  • Use one or more strategies to enhance patient care, improve patient safety and decrease the risk of a malpractice claim related to surgery


No individual in a position to control or influence the content of this activity has reported relevant financial relationships with commercial interests. No commercial support was provided for this activity.


The information and guidelines contained in this activity are generalized and may not apply to all practice situations. We recommend that legal advice be obtained from a qualified attorney for specific application to your practice. The information is intended for educational purposes and should be used as a reference guide only.

Course Developers

Susan Shepard, MSN, MA, RN, CPHRM, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company

Paul R. Weiss, MD, Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and the American Board of Surgery

Johanna Lackner, MPH, MSW, Senior Director, Continuing Professional Development, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company

Continuing Education Credit

The Doctors Company is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical educational activities for physicians.

The Doctors Company designates this activity for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Complies with State Requirements

Please SEE the Federation of State Medical Boards overview of Continuing Medical Education requirements by State. 

Technical Requirements

The activity is best experienced using the most current browser: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. Internet Explorer is not supported on this platform. All activities featuring audio must have a speaker. To view graphic images and references that appear in separate "pop-up" windows, JavaScript and session cookies must be enabled on your computer. Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required for certain activities.

Contact Us

If you have questions, contact educationsupport@thedoctors.com or call 800.421.2368, extension 1243.


Visit our Resource document for this program.