Docs heading to law school?

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That seems to be the new trend, according to this article in the Journal News. Docs in high-risk specialties are flocking to courses like Byrne's malpractice course at the University of Richmond Law School, it says. From the article:


    "I'm shocked at what is part of my life that nobody ever taught me about," said Dr. Shannon Weatherford, an obstetrician in Richmond who is taking the Saturdays-only class. "Four years of medical school and four years of residency, and there's nothing about the business of medicine and the legal aspects. This is just a single, terrific opportunity to get educated on something I should know about."


    Much of the interest in the course was sparked by soaring premiums and growing insurance losses from malpractice claims that have led to calls for tort reform (though some critics have accused insurers of overstating these losses).


    The Association of American Law Schools knew of no other law school that has opened a malpractice course to practicing physicians. But Columbia Law School in New York invites both law and medical students to an ethics class that raises malpractice issues. In addition, about a dozen medical schools around the country prepare their students with some sort of malpractice instruction, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.



These courses are accredited for CME, the article says, and despite some natural hostility, the law students and docs have much to learn from each other in the classroom, instead of the courtroom. In addition, in New York, medical liability insurance companies are required to provide risk-management courses, each of which is good for a 5 percent insurance premium discount, and for CME credit, it says.


I've heard that pharma isn't very interested in providing commercial support for these types of business-related education, but it seems like there is a need here that more CME providers could fulfill. Where the funding would come from, I don't know, though.


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