Ideal medical expert witnesses do exist, and there are certain qualities that Experts Clearinghouse targets when determining who we recommend for medical malpractice cases and pharmaceutical or product liability mass torts.
First and foremost, we target expert witnesses who are board certified in their respective specialties and subspecialties. Are we saying that a doctor must be board certified to be a good doctor? Absolutely not, but when it comes to demonstrating expertise within the courtroom, having the training necessary to be certified by an American Board of Medical Specialties entity certainly helps. Certain states even require it. As a practice, Experts Clearinghouse only recommends those who are board certified.
Second, we target those physicians who currently hold academic positions. Again, we are not saying that this automatically means the physician is a good doctor, but what this demonstrates to a jury is that this physician commands enough respect among his or her peers to hold said position. To be able to both practice and teach students medicine carries weight in the courtroom.
Coming hand in hand with teaching physicians often is the practice of research and publishing scientific papers. Doing such demonstrates to a jury that this physician is up to date with the latest in one or multiple areas of expertise, even better when those said papers relate directly to the issues at hand in any given legal case.
As discussed elsewhere in this blog, presentability and communication skills are also paramount. All of the credentials in the world do not carry much weight in the courtroom if the jury does not connect to or understand the expert witness. I am thinking along the lines of the tree falling with no one around to hear analogy, although in this case, words are heard but the question is comprehension and impact.
As for the expert witness advertising him or herself as an expert witness, I am still on the fence regarding recommending or discouraging this practice. I can honestly say that the practice is becoming more accepted in the industry, although generally, the medical expert witnesses that Experts Clearinghouse recommends do not advertise. As stated previously, this is the choice of the expert. Expert witness work is stimulating and worthwhile for many, and even better that one can be compensated for sharing ones expertise. I consider myself a sort of expert on expert witnesses, especially medical, and I am glad I get a chance to help push along the tough cases which our beautiful legal system must face.
Because I am compensated for my expertise, I feel even more obligated to act in the most prudent and honest manner possible. The ideal medical expert witness does the same.
The ideal medical expert witness will have a license in good standing and currently practicing, at least in some capacity. Experts Clearinghouse has worked with clients who actually prefer Professors who are semi-retired because they have the time necessary for expert witness record and literature review and testimony, particularly for multi-plaintiff mass torts.
The ideal medical expert witness does not do too much expert witness work. The definition of “too much” will depend on the client, but almost universally sought after is a balanced mixture of Defense and Plaintiffs work.
Are you the ideal medical expert witness? Please let us know if you are interested in doing expert witness work. We would love and honor the opportunity to work with you.
Keep pushing and thank you,
Robert Leonard Pham
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