Gatekeeper to the Courthouse in Medical Malpractice
Learning Objectives and CME/Disclosure Information
This activity is intended for healthcare providers delivering care to women and their families.
After completing this activity, the participant should be better able to:
1. Define an affidavit of merit 2. Evaluate the qualifications of plaintiffs medical experts
Estimated time to complete activity: 0.25 hours
Susan J. Gross, MD, FRCSC, FACOG, FACMG
President and CEO, The ObG Project
Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest
Postgraduate Institute for Medicine (PIM) requires faculty, planners, and others in control of educational content to disclose all their financial relationships with ineligible companies. All identified conflicts of interest (COI) are thoroughly vetted and mitigated according to PIM policy. PIM is committed to providing its learners with high quality accredited continuing education activities and related materials that promote improvements or quality in healthcare and not a specific proprietary business interest of an ineligible company.
The PIM planners and others have nothing to disclose. The OBG Project planners and others have nothing to disclose.
Faculty: Susan J. Gross, MD, receives consulting fees from Cradle Genomics, and has financial interest in The ObG Project, Inc.
Planners and Managers: The PIM planners and managers, Trace Hutchison, PharmD, Samantha Mattiucci, PharmD, CHCP, Judi Smelker-Mitchek, MBA, MSN, RN, and Jan Schultz, MSN, RN, CHCP have nothing to disclose.
Method of Participation and Request for Credit
Fees for participating and receiving CME credit for this activity are as posted on The ObG Project website. During the period from Dec 31 2017 through Jan 25 2023, participants must read the learning objectives and faculty disclosures and study the educational activity.
If you wish to receive acknowledgment for completing this activity, please complete the post-test and evaluation. Upon registering and successfully completing the post-test with a score of 100% and the activity evaluation, your certificate will be made available immediately.
For Pharmacists: Upon successfully completing the post-test with a score of 100% and the activity evaluation form, transcript information will be sent to the NABP CPE Monitor Service within 4 weeks.
Joint Accreditation Statement
In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and The ObG Project. Postgraduate Institute for Medicine is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.
Physician Continuing Medical Education
Postgraduate Institute for Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Continuing Nursing Education
The maximum number of hours awarded for this Continuing Nursing Education activity is 0.2 contact hours.
In some states, an affidavit of merit is a requirement for medical malpractice lawsuits. Its purpose is to have an expert, a physician in this instance, state that the lawsuit has merit. The expert is required to review the case or the nature of the injuries. Then, the expert must opine that the harms the injured person suffered arose because that person received care that did not meet the relevant medical standards. It is a measure enacted to deter frivolous lawsuits.
Courts have been both lax and rigid in demanding these affidavits of merit. For example, in 2016, New Jersey appellate judges upheld the dismissal of a case with prejudice, meaning that the lawsuit could not be filed again. The plaintiff’s expert’s qualifications did not “match up” with the specialties of the defendant-physicians. The plaintiff’s attorneys had obtained an affidavit from a general surgeon to opine as to the standard of care that a pediatric critical care doctor and pediatric surgeon must adhere to. In addition, the expert was not an actively practicing clinician at the time.
For defendant practitioners, if your state requires such an affidavit, review it carefully with your defense counsel as to the expert’s qualifications during the pretrial period. It might be wise to challenge any expert who could be lacking the expertise for the standard of care involved in your case.
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This website is not intended to be a source for legal advice, and thus the reader should not rely on any information provided in this website as such. Readers should not consider the information provided to be an invitation for an attorney-client relationship, and should always seek the advice of competent counsel in the reader’s home jurisdiction. Provider may provide links to third party websites. These links are provided only as a convenience. Linked websites are not reviewed, controlled or examined by Provider and Provider is not responsible for the information, advertising, products, resources or other materials, of any linked site or any link contained in a linked site. The inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by Provider. In addition, please be aware that your use of any linked site is subject to the terms and conditions applicable to that site. Please direct any questions regarding linked sites to the webmaster of that site.
OBG Project CME requires a modern web browser (Internet Explorer 10+, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge). Certain educational activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of their content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Apple QuickTime, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, Windows Media Player, or Real Networks Real One Player.
Disclosure of Unlabeled Use
This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA. The planners of this activity do not recommend the use of any agent outside of the labeled indications.
The opinions expressed in the educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of the planners. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.
Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. The information
presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient’s conditions and possible contraindications and/or dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.
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