3 Credentials All Litigators Should Consider When Assessing a Potential Medical Expert Witness

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Traditionally, medical experts involved in medical malpractice, personal injury, general liability or various other medical case matters were expected to meet certain standard qualifications. Board certifications, active medical licenses and qualitative measures, such as medical school or undergraduate education, were the cornerstone of assessing a medical expert.

As medicine changes, however, so does the bar litigators set for medical experts they are willing to have testify on multi-million dollar cases. Today, plaintiff and defense attorneys reach deeper to look for specific qualifications that surpass the traditional standard:

1. Fellowships and post-medical-school training: A medical degree is not enough anymore, as prestigious fellowships, which normally include highly regarded mentors in any chosen specialty, are greatly sought after. Post-graduate work can trump choice of medical school as a distinguishing factor when assessing a potential medical expert for case review or testimony.

2. Multiple Board Certifications: Double and even triple-boarded medical professionals are in demand. A medical expert with various competencies in multiple disciplines presents well in a courtroom setting and differentiates themselves from peers.

3. Published Research: Published medical expert witnesses have an edge that is desired by litigators because such medical professionals are often seen as thought leaders in their disciplines. Medical experts who consistently commit time to research and are approved for inclusion in respected medical journals have a distinct advantage from a legal perspective.