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Legal Education Common in Ob/Gyn Residency Programs

However, amount of training is inadequate, researchers say

THURSDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Medical-legal education occurs in most obstetrics and gynecology residency programs, but the frequency and types of education could be improved, according to a report published in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Carey Moreno-Hunt, M.D., and William M. Gilbert, M.D., of the University of California, Davis, asked 252 program directors of obstetrics and gynecology residency programs to complete a survey about their medical-legal education programs.

Of the 78% who completed the survey, 86% reported some level of formal medical-legal education, the researchers report. This commonly consisted of didactic lectures (38%), grand rounds (30%), case conferences (19%) and mock trials (9%). Training consisted of learning proper documentation (48%), giving a deposition (24%), and testifying as a defendant (19%) or an expert witness (6%). There was an average of 4.1 and a median of three sessions per year, with 88% of respondents interested in additional medical-legal education.

"Most obstetrics and gynecology residency programs provide some form of medical-legal instruction to residents, but the small number of sessions suggests that this is inadequate," the authors conclude. "Residency programs may benefit from a larger and more formal resident education program on medical-legal issues.

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