Grand Rounds on Medical Malpractice
Francis X. Campion, MD
American Medical Association, Milwaukee
1990, 372 pp. $40 (AMA members), $55 (nonmembers)
Concerns about medical professional liability have often created an opening for a dialogue on risk management between physicians and administrators. Francis X. Campion's Grand Rounds on Medical Malpractice promotes this dialogue by providing an orientation to medical professional liability for the practicing physician.
The book focuses on seven major subjects: the physician-patient relationship, negligence, informed consent, adverse outcomes, the impaired physician, professional liability insurance, and peer review. Each chapter opens with a case study highlighting significant issues. Questions raised by the case study are then outlined. Following that is a discussion of the chapter subject matter, containing practical advice on how to use risk management principles to deal with the issues presented. Selected articles from the medical literature and an annotated bibliography accompany each case study. The discussions are well referenced, providing additional resources for the reader. Although the discussion questions posed after each case study are never directly answered and many of the articles from the medical literature are somewhat dated, each chapter offers a sufficient perspective on issues to provide the reader a more than rudimentary base of knowledge.
Grand Rounds also includes four appendixes that list physician-owned insurance companies, medical malpractice joint underwriting associations, state patient compensation funds, and the 10 largest commercial medical malpractice insurance carriers. A "Glossary of Medical-Legal and Insurance Terms" and an index to the text and reprinted articles assist in the orientation process. In addition, readers may order a continuing medical education (CME) packet containing seven tests corresponding to the book's seven chapters. Two Category 1 CME credits are granted for satisfactory completion of each test.
Grand Rounds was designed to be used in a variety of ways—as a primer and resource for medical training programs, as a source of CME credits in risk management for practicing physicians, or as a teaching guide for a lecture series on professional liability. Its reprinted articles, extensive bibliographies, and glossary also make it an excellent reference tool.
Although its intended audience is physicians, Grand Rounds has much to offer healthcare administrators. It will help them understand the basics of medical professional liability and learn practical strategies for developing or enhancing a proactive, "patient-oriented" risk management program.
As the publisher's introduction notes, Grand Rounds offers physicians an opportunity to educate themselves to "dispel the shadow of liability that currently casts itself over the day-to-day practice of medicine." One can only hope that physicians will seize this opportunity.
Ellen L. Barton, JD
Director, Corporate Risk Management
Franciscan Health System
President, Neumann Insurance Company
Copyright © 1993 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.