The following is the forward to this impactful, new ebook. The forward is by Theodore Mazer, MD. Dr. Mazer is a board-certified otolaryngologist and a CAP member since 1988. As a leader in organized medicine in California, Dr. Mazer is a valued adviser on healthcare policy.
With its initial publication in 2010, Medicine On Trial — Risk Management Lessons from Litigated Cases sought, through a collection of vignettes, to show how a few key risk management kernels could be extracted from the experience of physicians who had to explain their medical care in the legal arena. These were the same stories that members of the Cooperative of American Physicians had been voraciously consuming for years in monthly installments through CAP’s membership newsletter.
In this second edition, Medicine On Trial reinforces the premise that effectively communicating with patients documenting key events in the chart, mindfully working with consulting specialists, and getting the best performance out of office and facility staff can help avoid treatment complications and improve care. And should a lawsuit nevertheless arise, Medicine On Trial shows that physicians who employ good risk management practices will have a stronger story to tell when needed.
As in the original work (which one reader called the “Aesop’s Fables of medical litigation mitigation”), this expanded edition does not offer the latest in medical knowledge or research. Rather, by relating the experiences of physician colleagues who found themselves in court, Medicine On Trial aims to motivate the adoption of a few policies, procedures, and personal practices that can help make liability claims less likely to happen, and potentially more defensible if they do.
The publication of Medicine On Trial – Risk Management Lessons from Litigated Cases, Second Edition coincides with a gratifying, long-term decrease in the frequency of medical malpractice lawsuits. With this decrease in legal filings occurring in an era of widespread adoption of risk management and patient education by all healthcare providers, physicians should take pride in their contributions toward a safer patient care universe. The lessons presented in this book add some color commentary to the safe practices already being used by its readers.
Physicians practice every day with a focus on their patients’ care, but need to be ever mindful of the risks of liability, adverse outcomes, and even wrongful accusations arising out of care rendered well and in good faith. That’s the reality of practicing at the intersection of medicine, technology, and law. As with our commitment to lifelong learning in our own fields, we also need to be committed – for our patients’ sakes as well as our own – to understanding and improving our daily practice both with and surrounding the patient. Medicine On Trial gives the reader educational pearls toward just such an end, in a readable and absorbable fashion.
About the author:
Gordon T. Ownby has served as general counsel for the Cooperative of American Physicians since 1992. Mr. Ownby earned his law degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and was admitted to the California State Bar in 1987. He started his legal career at Schmid & Voiles, the organization’s dedicated law firm, that same year.
Mr. Ownby is past chair of the PIAA Corporate Counsel Section and currently represents the interests of healthcare on the Board of Directors of the Civil Justice Association of California. As a member of the California Medical Association’s Amicus Curiae Committee, Mr. Ownby promotes the development of case law affecting the rights of physicians and patients. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Ownby was a news editor at the Los Angeles Daily Journal, a legal affairs newspaper.