Medical students have so much to worry about, including student loans, long study periods and concerns about the future. Many students do not consider insurance as an important issue, but medical malpractice insurance for students may be more critical than they realize. While physicians and medical professionals are most likely to be named in legal actions, medical students can also be held liable for damages. When they are, they may not have the financial resources for a settlement unless they have coverage.
Do You Need Insurance?
Standards of “vicarious liability” and insurance purchased by medical schools may cover initial clinical experience and hands-on work. However, once students enter the field in any way, they are no longer protected and need medical malpractice insurance for medical students. Simple rotations, externships, fellowships and residencies can all expose students to lawsuits. Healthcare systems and medical schools may offer coverage, but the only way to know for sure is to ask whether you are covered.
Benefits of Malpractice Insurance for Students
Medical students who are just starting to practice medicine may be covered by their supervising doctor’s coverage or by their medical school. In other cases, medical schools include a charge for insurance in tuition costs. However, if any gaps in coverage are present or if students are not covered, it is important to purchase insurance.
In addition to offering coverage, malpractice insurance for medical students is essential for a few reasons:
- There May Be a Learning Curve: Students may be asked to take on hands-on tasks outside their specialty areas as part of the learning process. Even with extensive in-class preparation, working in the field for the first time can be daunting. Even talented students do not have the hands-on experience seasoned doctors have. Combined with the stress of medical school, this situation can be one where mistakes occur. Insurance offers a layer of protection for students in this situation.
- Insurance Costs for Students Are More Affordable: Since the liability risks for students are less than for professionals in the field, coverage may be more affordable than many students realize. Working with an advisor such as Gallagher Healthcare lets you compare multiple policies at different price points to find a viable solution for your needs.
- A Solid Knowledge of Insurance Is Important Later in a Career: Whether students choose to be solo practitioners or part of a group practice, they will eventually need to seek out their own malpractice insurance. Getting insurance in medical school and reviewing options now can make them more confident later in their careers when they’re asked to decide on medical malpractice policies. Understanding the coverage options available, insurance rules in your state and the costs now can help you make better decisions down the road.
If you’re a medical student and are not sure whether you need malpractice insurance, you can learn more about coverage with Gallagher Medical. If you need more personalized advice or need coverage, contact us for a quote to determine which policies and price points can meet your needs.