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July 25, 1990

Medical Malpractice: Solving the Crisis

Author Affiliations

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Illinois at Chicago


by Frank John Edwards, 182 pp, $22.50, ISBN 0-8050-0428-9, New York, NY, Henry Holt & Co, 1989.

JAMA. 1990;264(4):528. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450040126049

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This small book is another attempt by a deeply committed, practicing physician to "take a crack" at the seemingly insurmountable problem of medical malpractice litigation.

The author, an emergency medicine physician, tells us that he is taking us on "a journey" that will hopefully shed light on and deepen our understanding of the current crisis affecting both doctors and their patients. He is an engaging writer, moving us swiftly through his burgeoning interest in medicine, the decisive role of his Vietnam experiences in choosing a medical career, and his rationale for choice of specialty.

All goes well until nine years into his career, when the medical records of a patient he has treated are "pulled." He is shaken by the potential of litigation, and his career takes on new meaning. Although the case eventually evaporated, his interest in litigation did not. He writes an article on the subject for Newsweek