Oncologists come in many different forms. When a litigator requires an oncology expert witness, there are several questions to ask. Legal cases involving oncology matters are bound to be emotionally straining for both the plaintiff and defendant. Since most people know someone who has battled with cancer, professional opinions on oncology cases can easily stray from objective to subjective. As a trial attorney, understanding the nature of the case and identifying the correct expert becomes challenging for this reason.
At Mednick Associates, we work with and locate numerous oncologists who are able to provide objective opinions on legal cases in a wide array of oncology specialties. Questions asked and answered during our search and screening process are as follows:
1.) Medical or Surgical?
Many oncology cases require a medical and surgical oncologist to review and opine. The difference lies in the specialty. A medical oncologist will opine on the nature of the cancer and the diagnosis, while the surgical oncologist will focus on the surgery related to the cancer. At times, they may disagree, which is why Mednick Associates makes sure to screen the case through both experts in order to present a consolidated opinion to their client.
2.) What type of oncologist is needed for the case?
Many cancers present in specific parts of the anatomy, and numerous physicians can opine on such diagnoses. However, some diagnoses, like liver cancer, may present as the cancer spreads throughout the body. Knowing the source of the cancer is important. An oncologist who specializes in liver cancer may not be the most appropriate expert for a case where cancer originated elsewhere, even though the patient presents with liver cancer. Mednick Associates’ staff of Registered Nurses (RNs) reviews the pertinent medical records, determines the true source of the cancer, and finds the appropriate oncologist to opine. This saves time and money for Mednick clients by avoiding unnecessary case reviews.
3.) Is a non-oncologist required?
Many times the damages associated with an oncology case stem from issues caused by the cancer, but out of the realm of an oncologist opinion. Sometimes, endocrinologists, general surgeons, or internal medicine experts are required to opine on subsequent care, treatment, or follow-up procedures.