The ACR Board of Directors recently approved a policy and guidelines on expert witness testimony in medical malpractice litigation. Many ACR members have been called to testify in medical malpractice litigation—or will be called in the future—and the ACR recognized the need for medical expert testimony guidelines that serve the public interest by ensuring that testimony is readily available, objective, and unbiased.
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Explore This IssueJune 2007
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“The policy and guidelines for expert witness testimony in medical malpractice establish the College’s expectations regarding testifying in those cases,” says Paul Romain, MD, chair of the ACR Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest. “The guidelines also can be used by the outside legal community to guide them in identifying a rheumatologist who is qualified to serve as an expert witness.…The Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest, working in close collaboration with the ACR’s legal counsel, used standard guidelines from other medical associations and customized those to better fit the needs of rheumatologists.”
Another priority of medical societies is to set relevant and reasonable professional standards that members can easily follow. ACR members are a diverse group with various professional interests and areas of expertise, and the ACR guidelines are designed to enable members to pursue their professional interests while upholding the reputation of the rheumatology subspecialty.
The guidelines for expert witness testimony in medical malpractice litigation include both relevant qualifications and guidelines for testifying as an expert witness. To review the full policy and guidelines, go to www.rheumatology.org/about and click on “Expert Witness Policy and Guidelines.”