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Odds of Hanging On

You could be humming along wonderfully in your career as an anesthesiologist, working with scads of people who are in pain and rely on you and your expertise to make it all go away.

But, watch out. One successful malpractice lawsuit could put a cramp in your style, medically and economically. In other words, it could put you out of business. Anesthesia errors can cause very scary things in your patients, such a prolonged comas, brain damage and death.

It's best to be at the top of your game all the time and not do unwise stuff like screw up the dosage of anesthetics, incorrectly diagnose complications of the anesthesia, or commit clerical errors. ("Dr. X, you wrote 1000 mg of Ativan. It should have been 100 mg. The patient just flatlined.")

You get the picture. It's better to be safe than sorry, and if you do that, the patients and the money will keep rolling in.