Sunday, January 27, 2008

Deposing a Treating Physician - Part Three

After the court reporter swears in the doctor, consider working off the following outline.

First, review the contents of the physician’s file and do an inventory of the file, keeping an eye out for the following:

* patient questionnaire
* letter of protection
* correspondence from counsel
* notes, letters from patient
* other physicians’ records
* physician notes
* medical bills

Review subpoena and ensure doctor brought everything you asked for.

Review physician’s notes and address the following:

Review favorable notes/opinions, including:

* pre-existing conditions
* favorable opinions
* patient compliance/non-compliance
* improvement in condition
* prognosis
* admissions by patient

Attack unfavorable notes and opinions, by confronting physician with:

* records indicating pre-existing conditions
* surveillance video
* his prior depositions
* his writings
* your medical research (excerpts from texts; medical journals)

If his opinions were favorable:

* review his credentials (C.V.) and qualify him
*confirm his opinions were "within a reasonable degree of medical probability"

If his opinions were unfavorable address:

* his credentials (wherever they may be lacking)
* priors cases where his opinions were stricken or expertise questioned
* whether his license has been suspended/curtailed/revoked
* whether he has been the subject of an investigation by:
* his medical board
* medicaid
* medicare
* other
* subject of any medical malpractice suits
* subject of any administrative proceedings
* subject of any lawsuits (other than malpractice)
* whether he is a hired gun (expert for every season)
* whether he ever taught on the subject of opinions
* whether he ever has written on subject of opinions
* whether he has ever taught courses on subject of opinions
* whether he has ever been qualified on subject of opinions
* testimonial history (depositions/trial)
* prior work as expert

When you feel you are done with the deposition, go through the following checklist before adjourning. Have you:

* Reviewed all his opinions?
* Reviewed basis of all his opinions?
* Ensured you have all his records and have reviewed them?

In many ways, deposing a physician is no different than deposing anyone else. It all comes down to preparation.


Anonymous said...

Great series on how to depose a treating physician. They really helped me out.

Anonymous said...

Can the physician bill as a treating physician? or just as an expert.

Anonymous said...

Can the physician bill as a treating physician? or just as an expert.