Holding medical expert witnesses accountable

By Alexander R. Vaccaro, MD

Professional societies and physicians can make a difference

At any one moment in the United States, there are 60,000 open medical liability lawsuits, many with multiple defendants. Few would argue that patients who are negligently injured deserve redress or that physicians who are falsely accused of negligence deserve a vigorous defense. The AAOS position captures this sentiment in its introduction to the Standards of Professionalism (SOPs) on Orthopaedic Expert Witness Testimony, which states: “It is in the public interest for orthopaedic testimony to be readily available, knowledgeable, and objective.” Fairness dictates that plaintiffs and defendants should have access to ethical expert testimony.

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