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Anyone moonlight as an Expert Witness?

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  • FunkDoc83 FunkDoc83 
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    I also have a good friend who is one of the leading med mal plaintiff attorneys in our city. I do some minor case review work for him, but he has been an outstanding resource for issues that have come up in our practice and for me personally.

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    Vagabond am I reading this correctly?  You have a good friend who sues docs and hospitals etc.?  Is that a little awkward at times?

    #235228 Reply
    Avatar Panscan 
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    Why would that be awkward? Do you think there is no such thing as malpractice? If anything I think it is more rampant than pursued nowadays.

    #235239 Reply
    Liked by MPMD
    FunkDoc83 FunkDoc83 
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    Why would that be awkward? Do you think there is no such thing as malpractice? If anything I think it is more rampant than pursued nowadays.

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    Probably just my own biases.  I think med mal practice attorneys might be looked down upon in our profession.  And yes, of course legitimate malpractice occurs.  But how about all of the other cases where docs are sued who have done nothing wrong and have to spend years of their lives dealing with it?

    #235243 Reply
    Lordosis Lordosis 
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    I have a patient who is a well known ambulance chaser in our area (his own words).  We joke that at least there is one lawyer who will not sue me.  Unless he is the plaintiff…

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

    #235248 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
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    Both plaintiffs and defendants need “expert witnesses “.
    I just wish there was a way to have accurate impartial opinions.
    If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

    #235252 Reply
    MPMD MPMD 
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    Why would that be awkward? Do you think there is no such thing as malpractice? If anything I think it is more rampant than pursued nowadays.

    Click to expand…

    Probably just my own biases.  I think med mal practice attorneys might be looked down upon in our profession.  And yes, of course legitimate malpractice occurs.  But how about all of the other cases where docs are sued who have done nothing wrong and have to spend years of their lives dealing with it?

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    You see all kinds. There are certainly reputable med mal plaintiffs attorneys out there.

    I definitely wouldn’t avoid someone socially b/c they did this work.

    #235257 Reply
    Liked by Vagabond MD
    MPMD MPMD 
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    Seems like a lot of people are throwing assumptions out, but not been my unfortunate personal experience. There are indeed career people that make a living doing it, and you are pretty much getting paid to argue the side of the “team” you’ve signed up for.

    That’s how you’re literally paid, it’s what the incentives are, it’s just fooling yourself if you think otherwise. Always keep it in mind. I dont know why anyone would want to do this work, either side, or will be stressful and being on the stand is awful.

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    This is a real phenomenon but in my fairly large experience it is much, much, much worse on the plaintiff side.

    What I think happens on the defense fairly frequently is that the expert looks at the case as a whole and concludes no malpractice and then maybe gets a little shady in their unwillingness to admit that ANYTHING was done wrong. It’s almost like they feel that the war is so just that it’s ok to fight dirty battles if that makes sense? I get why they do it I just think it’s not quite the same as being truthful.

    The plaintiff’s side, man that is the wild west. They can just go down the list until the find someone willing to say that grass is red and the sky is green. I could tell you crazy stories that wouldn’t surprise you at all. In some cases testifying untruthfully about simple factual information. You and I could disagree strongly about what to do with a white count of 32, but what if one of us was saying that was normal? It’s crazy.

    #235258 Reply
    Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
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    I also have a good friend who is one of the leading med mal plaintiff attorneys in our city. I do some minor case review work for him, but he has been an outstanding resource for issues that have come up in our practice and for me personally.

    Click to expand…

    Vagabond am I reading this correctly?  You have a good friend who sues docs and hospitals etc.?  Is that a little awkward at times?

    Click to expand…

    If you met my friend in person, without knowing his line of business, he would seem charming, funny, and very likable to you. He is also very philanthropic. Our wives are friends, and my daughter is friends with his son. We belong to same religious congregation. He has quite a few friends that are docs, and his father was a doc, too.

    Over the years, he has only shown me cases where there has been a potential grave error and the consequences substantial. When he shows me a rads case and I tell him nothing is there, the case is closed. Nineteen of the 20 patients that walk in his office walk out without any research or discovery on his part.

    One very memorable case was a lung mass on a CT at the VA that was about 5cm, actually measured by the tech on the image file, and the case was reported as “negative”. A couple years later, the man came back with a paralyzed diaphragm and a malignant pleural effusion. If that is not malpractice, what is? Does not this man and his family deserve some compensation? I helped him with the judiciary process through the VA system.

    "Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of the fool.” -Seneca the Younger

    #235261 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod, Panscan
    Zaphod Zaphod 
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    Seems like a lot of people are throwing assumptions out, but not been my unfortunate personal experience. There are indeed career people that make a living doing it, and you are pretty much getting paid to argue the side of the “team” you’ve signed up for.

    That’s how you’re literally paid, it’s what the incentives are, it’s just fooling yourself if you think otherwise. Always keep it in mind. I dont know why anyone would want to do this work, either side, or will be stressful and being on the stand is awful.

    Click to expand…

    This is a real phenomenon but in my fairly large experience it is much, much, much worse on the plaintiff side.

    What I think happens on the defense fairly frequently is that the expert looks at the case as a whole and concludes no malpractice and then maybe gets a little shady in their unwillingness to admit that ANYTHING was done wrong. It’s almost like they feel that the war is so just that it’s ok to fight dirty battles if that makes sense? I get why they do it I just think it’s not quite the same as being truthful.

    The plaintiff’s side, man that is the wild west. They can just go down the list until the find someone willing to say that grass is red and the sky is green. I could tell you crazy stories that wouldn’t surprise you at all. In some cases testifying untruthfully about simple factual information. You and I could disagree strongly about what to do with a white count of 32, but what if one of us was saying that was normal? It’s crazy.

    Click to expand…

    Have unfortunately seen such testimony. Its insanity. I dont think it should be allowed, literally like you said, just flat out bs lying that no impartial decent doctor would agree with. People take incredible stands as if some authority exists in all cases and “it depends” never enters. Like all medicine is just black and white and only difference was you’re an idiot.

    I can see where you’re coming from about willing to admit something was done wrong, however its misguided. Trial is not a fact finding and expounding event. You stick to your points of legality, ie, was it standard of care with what was known at the time, and thats it. Any deviance from that will make you look weak and/or wrong in front of the jury and given a decent lawyer a lot more ammo, you lose momentum and say something dumb. It doesnt even have to be pertinent to the case but could still be the cause of your loss. In fact if you think there is a tiny bit of true error or malpractice you should never go to court in the first place, if thats your baseline, be as aggressive as necessary.

    You basically do have to get up there and vigorously and on the offensive wise defend yourself. Court is theater and persuasion, nothing else. It needs to be approached and prepped for what it is and who the watchers and deciders are, the jury. My only regret in trial (that I won, with a very short deliberation) was that I wasnt more forceful and fighting for myself. Medical cases can be complex, discussing things outside black and white make it very hard for the jury.

    #235363 Reply
    Zaphod Zaphod 
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    I also have a good friend who is one of the leading med mal plaintiff attorneys in our city. I do some minor case review work for him, but he has been an outstanding resource for issues that have come up in our practice and for me personally.

    Click to expand…

    Vagabond am I reading this correctly?  You have a good friend who sues docs and hospitals etc.?  Is that a little awkward at times?

    Click to expand…

    If you met my friend in person, without knowing his line of business, he would seem charming, funny, and very likable to you. He is also very philanthropic. Our wives are friends, and my daughter is friends with his son. We belong to same religious congregation. He has quite a few friends that are docs, and his father was a doc, too.

    Over the years, he has only shown me cases where there has been a potential grave error and the consequences substantial. When he shows me a rads case and I tell him nothing is there, the case is closed. Nineteen of the 20 patients that walk in his office walk out without any research or discovery on his part.

    One very memorable case was a lung mass on a CT at the VA that was about 5cm, actually measured by the tech on the image file, and the case was reported as “negative”. A couple years later, the man came back with a paralyzed diaphragm and a malignant pleural effusion. If that is not malpractice, what is? Does not this man and his family deserve some compensation? I helped him with the judiciary process through the VA system.

    Click to expand…

    In fairness our malpractice system is screwy. Making it be someones fault and someone having to be personally blamed for it really bothers me. People still have terrible outcomes even when not a hint of malpractice occurs, I dont see them as any less deserving just because they were unlucky. I dont think just because a jury finds a doc innocent means a family or loved one didnt actually have damage or vice versa.

    Its a screwy system.

    #235365 Reply
    White.Beard.Doc White.Beard.Doc 
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    One very memorable case was a lung mass on a CT at the VA that was about 5cm, actually measured by the tech on the image file, and the case was reported as “negative”. A couple years later, the man came back with a paralyzed diaphragm and a malignant pleural effusion. If that is not malpractice, what is? Does not this man and his family deserve some compensation? I helped him with the judiciary process through the VA system.

    Click to expand…

    Unfortunately, many of the plaintiff’s attorney’s are not very reputable.  The find a patient with a bad outcome, and then they twist and turn and dance to try to create something that the doctor did wrong.

    In these cases, it is the bad outcome from the disease that drives the lawsuit, not bad medicine.  And with lay jurors making their best judgment, the case is subject to extreme manipulation.  Out malpractice system needs reform.  The jurors should not be lay people.  Rather the jurors should have medical knowledge.  Medical decision making is often far too complex for a lay jury to understand the nuances.

    #235372 Reply
    Liked by Vagabond MD
    Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
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    Joined: 01/21/2016

     

    I also have a good friend who is one of the leading med mal plaintiff attorneys in our city. I do some minor case review work for him, but he has been an outstanding resource for issues that have come up in our practice and for me personally.

    Click to expand…

    Vagabond am I reading this correctly?  You have a good friend who sues docs and hospitals etc.?  Is that a little awkward at times?

    Click to expand…

    If you met my friend in person, without knowing his line of business, he would seem charming, funny, and very likable to you. He is also very philanthropic. Our wives are friends, and my daughter is friends with his son. We belong to same religious congregation. He has quite a few friends that are docs, and his father was a doc, too.

    Over the years, he has only shown me cases where there has been a potential grave error and the consequences substantial. When he shows me a rads case and I tell him nothing is there, the case is closed. Nineteen of the 20 patients that walk in his office walk out without any research or discovery on his part.

    One very memorable case was a lung mass on a CT at the VA that was about 5cm, actually measured by the tech on the image file, and the case was reported as “negative”. A couple years later, the man came back with a paralyzed diaphragm and a malignant pleural effusion. If that is not malpractice, what is? Does not this man and his family deserve some compensation? I helped him with the judiciary process through the VA system.

    Click to expand…

    In fairness our malpractice system is screwy. Making it be someones fault and someone having to be personally blamed for it really bothers me. People still have terrible outcomes even when not a hint of malpractice occurs, I dont see them as any less deserving just because they were unlucky. I dont think just because a jury finds a doc innocent means a family or loved one didnt actually have damage or vice versa.

    Its a screwy system.

    Click to expand…

    The VA process was different than the standard civilian tort process. This was about 10 years ago, but IIRC, the lawyer brought the case and his evidence to an administrative judge who handles these matters. It was much shorter in length and preparation, and the judgements are smaller, too.

    I believe the defense was along the lines of that this plaintiff’s report was mixed up with that of another case, and the plaintiff’s obvious lung cancer went unreported. There was no witch hunt to determine who committed the error (though hopefully someone internally did investigate to make sure it would not happen next time), but it was about recognizing that a malpractice event occurred and that the plaintiff deserved compensation. This would be a model for a “no fault” malpractice system that others have proposed for the community at large.

    "Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of the fool.” -Seneca the Younger

    #235380 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod
    Avatar Panscan 
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    Not sure I understand what you guys mean. Doctors make horrible decisions sometimes and should be held at fault in those situations.

    It seems weird to me our malpractice system is like all or nothing. There’s no in between for the people who are clearly dangerous but nothing egregious has happened. We need to find ways to highlight these issues and handle them before they become bigger.

    #235390 Reply
    Liked by Tim
    Avatar Panscan 
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    Like if you’re going so fast or you’re so bad you miss a 5 cm mass ( which is a huge mass on a chest ct) then I’m sure youve had other crap reads. It shouldn’t get to the point where you can miss that 5 cm mass.

    #235392 Reply
    White.Beard.Doc White.Beard.Doc 
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    I am not talking about the big miss of a mass on chest CT.  That family deserves compensation.

    I am talking about the patient who arrives to the hospital with severe sepsis, gets fluid resuscitation and broad spectrum antibiotics, but the attorney gets an expert to say that the extra 30 minutes to do this or that made the difference between life and death.  In some of the counties near where I practice, the jury just looks and sees, “Rich doctor, poor plaintiff/family, so sympathetic, just give them the money.”

    #235398 Reply

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