The American Academy of Emergency Medicine goes after dubious "expert" witnesses
It seems that the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) has created a new section in their website called Remarkable Testimony.
There is no question that there are those among us who choose to supplement their incomes by serving as "hired guns" for plaintiff attorneys advancing highly questionable legal actions. The purpose of this website is to shame these "experts" in emergency medicine who offer testimony in court trials or preliminary legal proceedings that is best described as "dubious". Hopefully by publicly documenting their mercenary actions, such behavior may be curbed to some extent.
This is an idea that I applaud and I only hope that further efforts in this area are directed by other professional medical societies. I emailed the AAEM with some further suggestions that some readers may find useful:
To whom it may concern,
This website is an outstanding though perhaps controversial idea. May I make some additional suggestions?
If the proof of these outrageous assertions comes from a public record such as a court transcript, then I'd recommend that ANY identifying information regarding the offending physician also be posted as well. Such information, particularly if gleaned from public documents could in no way be considered confidential. It is often available in court transcripts at the beginning of testimony when these witnesses are being introduced.
In addition, any other PUBLICALLY available information that specifically identifies the doctor that the AAEM can get should likewise be published. Examples might be years of membership in AAEM and other medical societies or perhaps actions against such doctors available by searching public records of licensing information, etc. Again, such information should be publically available to prevent charges of invasion of privacy.
Lastly, as you accrue cases, I'd recommend establishing a freely searchable database on your website that would allow users to search for, identify and characterize these people (again with information freely available from public documents). Fields in such a database may include "name", "business address", "medical license numbers" and of course the multifunctional "comments" field.
The genius of your website is that it shames these doctors who engage in such unscrupulous behaviors. The more information about these people that's out there and the more readily available it is, the more these people will be exposed for the damage they do to the provision of good health to our communities.
John S. Ford, M.D., M.P.H.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Shunning people for bad acts serves a justifiable and certainly useful purpose in society. Such bad acts need to be brought to light. The efforts of the AAEM seem like a good approach to that end.