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October 26, 2005

Improving Relations Between Attorneys and Physicians

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor (Dr Jacobson); The Brookings Institution, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC, and Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md (Dr Bloche).

JAMA. 2005;294(16):2083-2085. doi:10.1001/jama.294.16.2083

During the past 30 years, there have been 3 separate medical liability crises. In the first 2 crises, which occurred in the 1970s and the 1980s, either physicians experienced increasingly unaffordable insurance premiums or many specialists were unable to purchase insurance at any price. The current crisis has elements of both, especially for high-risk specialties. Cumulatively, the recurrent crises have exposed the rawness of physician antipathy toward attorneys and the legal system. That antipathy appears to be deeper and more pervasive than ever before,1 making it hard to imagine that relations between attorneys and physicians can get much worse.

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