Qualifications of a Medical Expert or Dental Expert – Part VIII
You have read the dos and don’ts about finding a medical expert or dental expert and are probably wondering what you should look for when you interview an expert. The following are pointers you and your lawyer should bear in mind when talking to doctors:
- The expert must be certified in his specialty by one of the 24 recognized member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties; by one of the 18 American Osteopathic Association Certifying Boards; or by one of the 9 National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards, if the expert is a specialist.
- The expert should give you a written guarantee that his or her state and federal licenses are in good standing, that he or she has never been subject to disciplinary proceedings by a hospital, a medical organization, or a dental organization that would impair the expert’s credibility and effectiveness.
- The expert should have at least 5 years in active practice, or full-time teaching in a medical school or dental school, and not have been retired more than 2 years.
- The expert must have impeccable professional and ethical standing in the medical or dental community.
- The expert must have the ability to identify the medical or dental and legal issues in a case and express them in simple terms a jury can understand.
- The expert must be cool and collected under fire and not waffle or panic under attack by opposing lawyers.
- The expert should not be a professional witness or have any financial participation in the outcome of the case.
- The expert should be located far enough away, so the expert will not be pressured to drop out of the case by his or her local colleagues. But if possible, the expert should be close enough, so travel is not too expensive or time consuming. You do not want an expert from your hometown or county.
- The expert’s fees must be reasonable and consistent with those charged by other professionals. If the fee is too high, it may mean the expert feels he is making a personal sacrifice to help you or does not like lawyers and is sticking it to you. If his fee is too low, it probably means there is something in his past or credentials that impairs his effectiveness as an expert witness. Either way, the expert will be an unreliable witness.
The Rule Is: Hire the best expert witness you can find and find out all about the expert and fees before you entrust the expert with your case.
JD.MD, Inc., has served legal communities in the U.S. since 1978. Contact us at 800-225-JDMD (5363) to have your malpractice cases reviewed by our medical experts and dental experts.