Why do physicians do medicolegal? Oncologist from New York

Doctors are, well, doctors. Their training and work experience shape their approach to problems and socialize them to view issues through the clinical prism. However, the broad education of a physician also prepares him or her to address a variety of other questions in medicine in an effective and comprehensive manner.

Many physicians have, in addition to their clinical skills, a well-developed ability to reason, analyze, write well, communicate, and express clearly complex ideas. Many physicians enjoy being able to use these skills in the legal arena.

Doctors, of course, are valued as experts in their particular areas of medical specialization. However, by performing medical-legal consulting they have an opportunity to shape the legal argument and even to redress many inequities within the healthcare system. Doctors know about and often encounter shoddy care, outright uncaring, and unpreparedness that plague our medical system and they have experienced many episodes of these factors causing injury and harm. The opportunity to redress some of these injustices is profoundly satisfying to many health care professionals. Remember, you do not take a case in which you do not believe. Attorneys appreciate honesty, for they do not want to spend hundreds of hours and tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on pursuing cases that do not have merit.