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Book and Media Reviews
August 8, 2007

Physician, Protect Thyself: Seven Ways Not to Get Sued for Medical Malpractice

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2007;298(6):685-690. doi:10.1001/jama.298.6.689

This is an easy read by a medical malpractice defense attorney with long-standing family ties to the medical profession. Williams takes as his central thesis the belief that “improving one's medical practice from the legal perspective invariably leads to improved patient care from the medical perspective” (p 21). While many physicians will take issue with this pronouncement, it is worth suspending our prejudices long enough to see what is useful and pragmatic in the book.

The organization of Physician, Protect Thyself is strange. There are indeed 7 formally enumerated chapters, presumably intended to reflect the subtitle, but preceding these are “chapters A, B, and C,” and following are 2 nonnumbered or nonlettered chapters that rather appear to be afterthoughts. Chapters A through C constitute a primer on medical malpractice, and there are also 4 appendices, 3 of which largely reference the author's Web site. The fourth is a somewhat selective listing of medical malpractice defense attorneys throughout the United States.

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