July 1996 Bulletin

A minute with malpractice

by Anthony T. Yeung, MD and Dale R. Butler, MD

If fellows have concerns about an expert's testimony, the Academy is collecting data on expert witnesses in medical malpractice cases. Fellows may contribute to the project by sending a complete copy of deposition or trial testimony by expert witnesses, and a brief synopsis and outcome of the case, if known. Edited or incomplete transcripts will not be accepted.

The information will be released to plaintiff or defendant attorneys when requested by specific witness name. The Academy will not render an opinion about the veracity and quality of the expert's testimony nor will it respond to requests for testimony on a specific subject. However, testimony that violates state ethical guidelines on expert witness behavior may subject that witness to review by that expert's state board of medical examiners upon the filing of a formal complaint. At the very least, it will allow physicians or legal counsel to review and examine that expert's past testimony for consistency and accuracy.

Testimony may be sent to: Expert Witness Testimony Clearinghouse Project, AAOS, 6300 N. River Rd., Rosemont, Ill. 60018-4262. Questions regarding the project may be addressed to the Committee on Professional Liability, the Office of General Counsel at the Academy.

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