I have always thought that neurosurgeons, although very smart, are human and as humans make mistakes. However, it doesn’t appear that neurosurgeons believe they can make mistakes!
In order to prevail in a medical malpractice case the patient must present testimony from an expert in the medical field involved in the claim. In other words, you must have an orthopedic surgery expert if you are suing your orthopedic surgeon…a pediatrician if you are suing your pediatrician.
Well, neurosurgeons have decided to put a stop on suits against neurosurgeons. How? The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) has decided that any expert who testifies against one of its members should have their testimony subjected to review by their organization. In the 20 years this policy has been in effect, 24 of the 27 cases the AANS reviewed were brought by AANS members who had been defendants in malpractice cases.
What is the effect of this policy? Well, neurosurgeons who are asked to review cases against other neurosurgeons in cases of substandard care are hesitant to get involved. They don’t want their national association to come after them! In our own practice, finding honest and willing neurosurgeons to review potential cases is next to impossible. Wonder why!