Did you know surgeons can serve as a plastic surgery expert witness in legal cases? The expertise of surgeons is necessary for healthcare compliance, disability evaluations, and malpractice concerns.
The benefit of having a plastic surgeon serving as a witness is they may offer their opinion based on knowledge, skills, and training. To qualify as an expert witness, the provider should be certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery.
The board has a code of ethics that must be followed by all plastic surgeons. As such, it establishes trust between providers and the public. By honoring the code of ethics, providers earn the right and respect to serve as expert witnesses in legal cases.
What is the Benefit of a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon as an Expert Witness?
In legal cases, a plastic surgeon can serve as a fact witness. A fact witness offers knowledge about a particular patient based on the facts—for example, what happened, who was involved, and the result.
An example would be serving as a fact witness in worker’s compensation cases about wound repair to determine evaluation and management of care. In this case, they have first-hand knowledge of the case’s details.
Comparatively, courts may need a consultant plastic surgeon to serve as an expert witness. In this realm, they may not know the specific facts surrounding a case but can offer opinions on standards of care.
Experience and The American Board of Plastic Surgery code of ethics guides plastic surgeons in providing expert witness testimonials.
How Expert Witnesses Can Assist in Safe Care for Patients
Opinions of the public can differ in terms of care standards, treatment plans, and effective outcomes. Certainly, negligence and complications may occur as a result of poor care. But there is a difference between what may be considered a complication and medical negligence.
A complication does not always mean negligence was involved.
To guide plastic surgeons in serving as an expert witness in legal cases, they agree to provide evidence and testimony based on the case’s merits. The profession has developed an Expert Witness Affirmation Form to ensure compliance.
Plastic surgeon expert witnesses agree to be truthful, objective, and impartial when providing testimony. Their opinions are based on peer-accepted information that would be acceptable to other professionals in the field.
They provide a check and balance system to ensure patient safety and care standards through their efforts. To prove negligence, it must relate to the injuries the patient sustained, and the damages caused based on fact.
About Thomas Zaydon, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Dr. Thomas J. Zaydon, M.D. F.A.C.S serves as a professional expert witness for workers compensation. He has been a plastic surgeon in Miami, Florida, for over twenty years.
As a consultant plastic surgeon Dr. Zaydon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.