Chicago—As medical malpractice lawsuits have become increasingly standard fare in the United States judicial system, providing expert witness testimony has become something of a cottage industry in the medical and scientific communities. When medical professionals take the stand to provide “expert” testimony, however, they are not only representing their own reputations, but their specialty and, indeed, the entire medical profession as well. To discuss some of the issues involved when physicians take the stand, a special panel was convened bu the Triological Society at the 2006 Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meeting (COSM).
Explore this issue:July 2006
“It won’t do us any good to talk about the tort system and why it’s flawed. It is what it is and we have to live with it,” said Gerald B. Healy, MD, who served as moderator for the panel discussion. Dr. Healy is Otolaryngologist-in-Chief at Children’s Hospital in Boston, Mass., and Professor of Otology and Laryngology at Harvard Medical School. “But the issue of expert testimony is one where we can impact the system, particularly as it impacts physicians and the practice of medicine.”
The same ethical and professional standards which govern the way physicians practice medicine also follow them into the courtroom.