The American Board of Medical Quality (ABMQ) in their policy on medical expert consulting and testifying (#35) states:
Physicians should be available to consult with both the defense or plaintiff bar as this enables both physicians and the public to be protected.
Dr. Thomas Gutheil will be speaking at the SEAK National Expert Witness Conference on May 3-4, 2014 in Orlando, FL:
How to Excel at Your Deposition: Techniques That Work
Thomas Gutheil, MD
With fewer trials the deposition of the expert witness has taken on increased significance. In this presentation, Dr. Gutheil will explain and demonstrate techniques that will help the expert witness excel at his/her depositions. He will discuss the various fair and unfair strategies and tactics of counsel and how to effectively deal with them. Dr. Gutheil will review effective presentation skills and demeanor that the expert can utilize effectively at deposition.
Thomas G. Gutheil, MD is Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gutheil had been associated with the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Boston, for nearly a half century and had served as a staff member there for 40 years. An internationally known teacher, lecturer, author and consultant on medicolegal issues, risk management and malpractice prevention, Dr. Gutheil is the first Professor of Psychiatry in the history of the Harvard Medical School to be board certified in both general and forensic psychiatry. He has authored/co-authored over 300 publications and is an experienced expert witness.
For additional information click here for; SEAK’s upcoming Expert Witness workshops
For the full policy 35 of the ABMQ, see below.
Medical Expert Consulting and Testifying
In a judicial or administrative process, physicians have specialized knowledge and expertise that is frequently needed. The absence of this medical expertise may mean that legal decisions regarding quality of care are made without the benefit of all medical facts or opinions and therefore the resolution of disputes and assessments of medical quality of care may suffer.
The medical professional has an ethical duty to assist the legal profession and society as a whole in resolving these disputes when they arise so as to secure a patient’s legal rights and to improve medical quality.
In the role as a physician medical expert or consultant the physician must give an honest, comprehensive, and objective interpretation and representation of the medical facts based upon the applicable standard of care. Experts must limit their testimony to their specialty of medical expertise and should have recent and substantive clinical, research, or teaching experience in the area in which they testify.
Physicians should be available to consult for both the defense or plaintiff bar as this enables both physicians and the public to be protected.
Physicians must not accept compensation based on contingency fees.
Any medical entity that limits, by contract or any other means, the ability of physicians to fulfill their fiduciary role as medical experts is considered unethical. Physicians’ freedom to render expert opinion to either defense or plaintiff attorneys is necessary for the honest and objective resolution of disputes and assessment of medical quality of care.
ACMQ supports the rights of medical associations to set standards for honest expert witness testimony by physicians and to sanction members who violate those standards.