Issue Background

Medical Liability Reform - Expert Witness Qualifications

  • Strengthen expert witness standards
  • Ensure that expert witness is from the same specialty as the defendant physician
  • Prevent frivolous lawsuits
  • Improve the practice environment for physicians in your state

Whenever a physician’s conduct is being called into question, it is only fair that the physician, as a professional, be judged by an expert sharing the same background, training and experience. In medical liability cases, this means that only an expert practicing in the same specialty as the defendant physician should be permitted to testify about reasonableness of defendant physician’s care and treatment.  Medicine is a complex and ever-changing discipline. Requiring a testifying expert to be from the same specialty helps ensure that the defendant physician’s conduct is being appropriately judged and can  help prevent the filing of frivolous lawsuits. Legislation is needed to require that experts in medical liability cases be from the same specialty as the defendant physician.