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October 14, 2011

One in four surgeons insures his or her hands

Daily Briefing

One in four surgeons insures their hands, according to a small survey conducted by Truth on Call for MSNBC.

The survey found that 24 out of 100 surgeons insure their hands, 37 do not, and 39 are considering doing so.

Insuring your hands "doesn't insure you for your salary," says Joseph Colella, a bariatric surgeon who serves as the director of robotic surgery at UPMC's Magee Women’s Hospital and insures his hands for about $8 million. However, a policy "insures you for your ability to do your job."

According to Alan Levin, chair of insurance and re-insurance at law firm Edwards Wildman and Palmer in New York, insurance policies can cost surgeons millions of dollars in premiums. However, many surgeons say the policy is worth the cost.

"I wanted to insure that I can practice at the high level that I do," says Jeffrey Spiegel, a facial plastic surgeon in Boston whose hands are insured "for considerably more than $8 million" (Hayes Taylor, "Vitals," MSNBC, 10/12; "Vitals," MSNBC, 10/12). 

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