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December 26, 2007

Role of Professional Organizations in Regulating Physician Expert Witness Testimony

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Kesselheim); and the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia (Dr Studdert).

JAMA. 2007;298(24):2907-2909. doi:10.1001/jama.298.24.2907

The physician's role as expert witness in legal proceedings can be controversial, especially in medical malpractice litigation in which physicians opine on the quality of care rendered by their colleagues. Apprehension about high-cost malpractice claims in recent years has focused attention on the potential for physician experts to fuel inappropriate litigation through testimony that is not well grounded in prevailing clinical standards or science.1

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