Senate Bill 500, passed by the 2003 Maryland General Assembly, required that some information about malpractice settlements and awards be included on each profile, so that consumers can be more informed about their health care providers. In considering malpractice data, consumers should understand three things. First, there may be a large time gap between an incident and the final court settlement relating to the incident. Second, some medical specialties (such as surgery and obstetrics) are "high risk" and result in more malpractice claims and judgments than others. Finally, the size of an award relates to the economic loss to a patient resulting from the incident (for instance, potential earnings lost). Thus, a physician's malpractice history should be only one of many considerations when selecting a physician for you or your family. The Board does not have details concerning malpractice payments. Questions regarding malpractice payments can be directed to the Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office.