Legal Issues in Medicine

Academic Year

Legal Issues in Medicine is an interdisciplinary practice seminar taught by Albany Medical College and Albany Law School Law School faculty designed to enhance communication and foster understanding between the professions. The course offers a unique opportunity for law students to interact with another profession as they may be expected to do in practice. The course introduces students to selected medical-legal topics through lecture, discussion, and group problem solving. During the semester, law students work collaboratively in teams with resident physicians in the Albany Medical Center OBGYN department in presenting a case (based on real patient/hospital files) involving alleged medical negligence or other claims in a mock trial. Working with physicians in the role of "experts," students also draft expert disclosure documents as part of their case preparation. For law students, the seminar is intended to provide a better understanding of the medical profession. Law students will learn about medicine and the medical profession from physicians as they examine actual records and identify potential medical/legal issues. In preparing a case, law students will analyze and apply the elements of various theories of tort liability as they share legal knowledge with physicians-- skills helpful for bar passage and law practice. By working with law students and participating in mock legal proceedings, resident physicians gain an understanding of how the legal system works and how they may contribute to a more effective functioning of the system, so that justice is served for both defendant physicians and injured patients.