Can doctors and lawyers benefit from attending classes on medical malpractice together? More importantly, would the public (meaning patients and clients) be better off? ABC News reports on an experiment at a southern law school that may have some merit.
Except for a crop of gray hair, the enrollees in Sean Byrne’s malpractice course at the University of Richmond Law School look like normal students.
…more than half the students are physicians, many of them in obstetrics or other specialties at high risk for malpractice lawsuits. Some have been sued; others say it’s only a matter of time.
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 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.
By mixing the two groups, university administrators hope law students will get firsthand knowledge about common clinical situations and the daily stresses of practicing medicine. Physicians, they said, will learn about the law, preparing them for litigation or perhaps reducing their risk of being sued.