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ARTICLE |

ADVICE TO THE MEDICAL WITNESS

W. I. Gilbert Jr., LL.B.
JAMA. 1954;156(14):1311-1313. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02950140011004.
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ABSTRACT

In about 50% of litigated cases the testimony of expert witnesses is of importance and many times crucial, for the outcome of the case may be based on the testimony of experts, whether they be in the field of real estate values, engineering, or medicine. Most witnesses are what are called fact witnesses, that is, they may testify only to what they have actually seen or heard. These witnesses are not permitted to state conclusions or opinions, while the expert is called for that specific purpose and is allowed to state his conclusions and opinions. This discussion relates to the physician as an expert witness, a role for which he is, so far as I am aware, given no schooling and one that he learns only by experience in court. For physicians not familiar with courtroom and legal procedures I will mention a few basic factors.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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