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by William T. Choctaw, 106 pp, with illus, $49.95, New York, NY, Springer (telephone: 800-777-4643), 2008, ISBN 978-0-387-73063-9.
Grading Key = outstanding; = excellent; = good; = fair; = poor
A single-authored text and commentary on medical malpractice law.
A California surgeon with a law degree outlines the basics of medical malpractice law, some tips to avoid malpractice suits, and what to do and expect when served with a lawsuit. Other related topics are covered, such as addressing disruptive physician behavior, cyber medicine, arbitration, documentation, disclosure to patients about mistakes, informed consent, and communicating with a diverse patient population (or cultural competence). The author also shares his personal experience as a patient.
The book is concise and a quick read. The best chapters (8-12) are on what to expect when being sued, not only in terms of the litigation process and legal terminology but also the stress and emotional impact.
This is not a scholarly treatise, but is a personal perspective and commentary of a surgeon practicing in Southern California. The author makes some broad generalizations without good supporting data. Some statements, eg, a physician's personal records of a patient cannot be discovered, are not accurate for physicians practicing outside California.
Physicians involved in or concerned about malpractice suits.