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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jeffrey S. Rosenthal, MD (Bridgeport Hospital)
Description: This small book captures the subtle and not so subtle nuances of maintaining a healthy plastic surgical practice without being disrupted by a malpractice lawsuit.
Purpose: The authors wish to provide an understanding of how to prevent malpractice litigation and avoid unnecessary practice risks in plastic surgery, and they impart their accrued knowledge in a format that offers counsel on liability in the specialty.
Audience: The book is fruitful reading for neophytes, established plastic surgeons, and all those in between.
Features: What better way to start this book than with the genesis of the litigation claim. The standard of care is no longer the domain of isolated medical communities, and is now viewed in terms of outcomes based on a broader national picture. Hence, the manner in which a surgeon addresses issues of informed consent, documentation, and disclosure are judged against a wider swathe of universal outcomes. The 14 chapters detail the manner in which to practice safe, effective, and litigation-free plastic surgery. Risky procedures that are harbingers of legal action, understanding psychological aspects of the patient interview, the role of properly trained staff, and claims based upon office-based procedures, medical spas, and surgical interventions are all discussed. The book also provides guidelines for recordkeeping, informed disclosure, and dealing with the liability carrier and expert witnesses in a malpractice claim.
Assessment: Despite surgeons' professed intention to do no harm, the possibility that legal action will be initiated against one during a lifelong career is statistically plausible. Armed with the information in this book, plastic surgeons can lessen the odds and significantly modulate this occurrence.