Is "medical error" the third leading cause of death in the United States? No, that's not proven: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not include "medical error" in the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States.
For one thing, given the lack of a precise medical or legal definition for "medical error," it's difficult to quantify such in statistical data.
The claim appeared in an Instagram post published on July 6, 2021. It read:
Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the united states
This is what the Instagram post looked like at the time of writing:
The post cites no source for the claim.
Lead Stories emailed the CDC regarding the claim. We were referred to an article published by researchers from the CDC and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) with a chart (below) on leading causes of death for the years from 2015 through 2020: