Medical Malpractice Survival Training for Physicians is essential training for any physician who is currently being sued or is at risk for being sued over the course of his or her career. We will teach you how to give yourself the best chance of successfully defending an accusation of medical malpractice. We utilize interactive testifying skills workshops to show you how to be a more effective witness in your own defense. In addition, we teach you what you can and should do to assist in your own defense including assisting in case preparation and expert selection, testifying more effectively at deposition, and making a favorable impression upon the jury. We also flag common and avoidable mistakes that can destroy an otherwise defensible case. This course will only be offered live once in 2023.
You will learn:
• How to be a more effective witness in your own defense at deposition and trial
• How to make sure you are represented by the right lawyer and that that lawyer hires the best expert witnesses
• How to best work with and assist your defense counsel
• What makes plaintiffs angry enough to sue and how to avoid getting sued
• How to make a favorable impression on the jury
• How to understand and enforce your rights under liability insurance policies
• Factors to consider in order to decide whether or not to settle a case and if so, how much to settle for
• How to avoid common mistakes that can sink your case
• How to avoid or minimize damage to your reputation
Tuition/Discounts: Tuition is $1,395 on or before September 15, 2023; $1,495 September 16, 2023 – October 20, 2023 and $1,595 after October 20, 2023. Your tuition includes a detailed conference manual. Group discounts are available for two or more persons registering together from the same employer. Discount prices depend on the size of the group. Our programs can also be brought onsite to your organization. Please call 508-457-1111. For the stream on-demand version of this course please click here.
The SEAK Zoom Experience: We are very pleased that our Zoom training has been as well-received as SEAK’s superbly-regarded in-person training.
• Each attendee will be provided with both an electronic and hard copy of the course manual.
• We will be conducting numerous hands-on demonstrations so attendees can practice the testifying skills taught.
• Our faculty will be fielding (and asking) many questions.
• This class will not be recorded or available for later streaming. Recording by attendees is strictly prohibited (we want everyone to speak their mind and take part in demonstrations and discussions).
• Everyone gets a front row seat.
Continuing Education Credits: SEAK, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. SEAK, Inc. designates this live activity for a maximum of 14 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Cancellations: Conference cancellations received in writing on or prior to October 20, 2023 will receive a full tuition refund. Persons cancelling after October 20, 2023 will receive a full tuition credit.
Nadine Nasser Donovan, Esq., is SEAK’s lead trainer and has personally provided testifying training to thousands of medical professionals, including medical defendants. She is a former named partner in a Boston medical malpractice defense firm, and has 18 years’ experience as a medical malpractice defense attorney. Nadine is SEAK’s Medical Malpractice Practice Leader, where she has developed multiple specialized medical malpractice testifying training programs for physicians, and has provided lectures to medical students, residents, and in grand rounds. She is the co-author of the three leading texts on expert testifying and witnessing. Nadine is a legal writing instructor at Boston University School of Law, and a former Adjunct Professor at New England School of Law, Boston, where she taught courses in Medical Malpractice and Hospital Law. Nadine received her J.D. cum laude from Boston College Law School. She graduated from Fordham University summa cum laude with a B.A. in French Literature. Nadine can be contacted at 617-791-4282 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Day One (Saturday, November 18, 2023)
9:00–9:30 AM Eastern What To Do After an Adverse Event
This section will introduce the principles of medical malpractice law and the types of real world circumstances that typically lead to such claims. You will be provided with a to-do checklist for when you are first apprised of an adverse medical event. We will also discuss how to best deal with the stress of being sued. Questions & Answers
9:30–10:15 AM Eastern What the Plaintiff Needs to Prove
You will learn the essential elements of a medical malpractice claim so that you can understand what the plaintiff needs to prove and why. Questions & Answers
10:15–10:45 AM Eastern How to Assist in Disproving That You Breached the Standard of Care
The faculty will demystify the legal definition of the standard of care in a medical malpractice case and explain how you can help your lawyer to disprove breach of this critical element, including the use of medical literature, standards, evidence based medicine, and learned treatises. Questions & Answers
10:45–11:15 AM Eastern How to Help Make Sure Your Lawyers Hire the Best Experts
On both sides of the case, the medical experts play a critical role in evaluating, proving, and disproving medical malpractice allegations. This section will discuss the factors that counsel takes into account in selecting these witnesses, and how you can help ensure that counsel retains the most effective expert witness on your behalf. Questions & Answers
11:15–11:30 AM Eastern BREAK
11:30 AM–12:15 PM Eastern How to Make a Favorable Impression on The Jury
The ultimate decision maker in a medical malpractice case is the jury of lay people. In this segment, you will learn what jurors find persuasive from defendant physicians, what they do not find persuasive, what defense and plaintiff’s counsel will do to make the best impression in front of the jury, and most importantly, what you can do to help. Questions & Answers
12:15–1:00 PM Eastern Understanding and Enforcing Your Rights Under Your Liability Insurance Policy
We will teach you to understand your rights and responsibilities stemming from your liability insurance, including your rights regarding the selection of defense counsel and the implication of settlement clauses and indemnity and expense limits. We will also focus on what can and should be done should you face personal exposure beyond available policy limits. Questions & Answers
1:00–1:30 PM Eastern BREAK
1:30–2:15 PM Eastern When Should I Settle?
This section will discuss what kinds of events might spark settlement, as well as other factors that should affect your decision in this regard. We will also cover who decides when to settle, who has the authority to settle, and how cases are valued. Included will be a discussion of potential conflicts in settlement decisions, avenues of settlement such as arbitration and mediation, and the impact of settlement on your practice, reputation, and malpractice coverage. Questions & Answers
2:15–3:30 PM Eastern How Plaintiff’s Lawyers Investigate Cases and What Makes Patients Sue
You will learn how plaintiff’s counsel evaluates and prosecutes medical malpractice claims. Included is a frank discussion of the economics of pursuing a malpractice claim, the selection of expert witnesses, researching the applicable medicine, conducting discovery, developing a theme of the case, evaluating potential damages and the likelihood of success on the merits, deciding when to settle, when to mediate, when to try, and developing a winning trial strategy. Questions & Answers
3:30–3:45 PM Eastern BREAK
3:45–4:45 PM Eastern How Defense Lawyers Defend Doctors in Malpractice Cases
This section will give you an insider’s view of defense counsel’s role in defending a physician accused of malpractice, including how defense counsel evaluates plaintiff’s allegations and selects appropriate defenses. You will learn defense counsel’s strategies, including the procedural and substantive avenues they pursue to resolve these cases in the manner most advantageous to their physician clients. Included in this discussion is the dynamics between defense counsel and the liability insurance adjuster, and how defenses proceed when there are multiple-named medical defendants. Questions & Answers
4:45–5:45 PM Eastern How You Can Best Assist Defense Counsel
You will learn how to be an effective member of the defense team. You will learn how defense counsel evaluates and defends a case, how to assist counsel in investigation and preparation of the case, proper pre-trial and courtroom behavior and demeanor, and how to avoid potential pitfalls. Questions & Answers
Day Two (Sunday, November 19, 2023)
9:00–10:45 AM Eastern How to Be a More Effective Witness at Your Deposition
Physicians will learn the fundamental law of depositions, what plaintiff’s counsel is after at deposition, and how to be an effective witness on your own behalf at deposition, both on issues of qualification and the medicine involved. A physician who is able to persuasively and accurately describe her credentials, both in the curriculum vitae and in testimony, increases her credibility and benefits the overall defense of the case. Likewise, a defendant physician should be prepared to confidently and convincingly explain her care of the patient to the layperson without being defensive or condescending. Included will be mock deposition demonstrations of volunteer attendees which will be critiqued by the faculty and attendees. Questions & Answers
10:45–11:00 AM Eastern BREAK
11:00 AM–12:30 PM Eastern How to Be a More Effective Witness During Your Direct Examination At Trial
You will learn specific proven techniques on how to work with counsel to be an effective witness on your own behalf during direct examination at trial. Techniques to prepare to give your testimony will be explained, along with specific advice on how to be effective in front of the jury. These include a focus on demeanor and language, the proper use of visual aids, understanding the theme of the case and how to properly explain complicated medical concepts to the lay jury. Included will be mock direct examination demonstrations of volunteer attendees which will be critiqued by the faculty and attendees. Questions & Answers
12:30–1:00 PM Eastern BREAK
1:00–2:15 PM Eastern How to Be a More Effective Witness During Cross Examination At Trial
You will learn what plaintiff’s counsel is after during cross-examination and how to be effective during even the most aggressive cross-examinations. Physicians will learn the specific advanced techniques to thrive during cross-examination by plaintiff’s counsel, including how to properly prepare for cross examination, making concessions where appropriate, not being evasive or defensive, maintaining a calm demeanor, avoiding quibbling, showing feeling, active listening and many more. Included will be mock demonstrations of volunteer attendees which will be critiqued by faculty and attendees. Questions & Answers
2:15–2:30 PM Eastern BREAK
2:30–3:30 PM Eastern How To Avoid Getting Sued – Practical Risk Management Techniques
Although as a physician you can never completely eliminate the chance of being sued, there are ways to minimize your risk. This section will provide practical strategies that you can use to reduce the chances you will get sued, including superior communication skills with your patient, diligent and complete record-taking practices, employing competent and patient friendly office staff, dealing with adverse events, and developing specific office procedures regarding informed consent, follow-ups, and referrals. Questions & Answers
3:30–4:15 PM Eastern The Biggest Mistakes Malpractice Defendant Physicians Make, And How to Avoid Them
You will learn the types of costly mistakes that you can make once you become a defendant in a medical malpractice lawsuit, as well as strategies and techniques you can use to avoid them. The discussion of mistakes will include not knowing your rights under your liability contract, altering medical records, giving the appearance of a cover-up by not promptly responding to patients’ records requests, discussing your case with your colleagues, not being adequately prepared for your deposition or trial testimony, thinking that defense counsel has a medical degree, not being responsive to defense counsel’s requests, keeping important facts about yourself or the case from defense counsel, and mistakenly thinking that the malpractice insurer has only your best interests in mind. Questions & Answers
What past attendees have to say:
“Very valuable information and excellent format. Thank you!”
“Nadine. You are a great teacher and always engage the listener. I am very grateful that you developed this course. Being sued for malpractice is personally very upsetting. You did a great job of walking me through the process and understanding what to expect. After going through your course, I am much better prepared to deal with my ongoing malpractice suit, both intellectually and emotionally. I would recommend your course as mandatory for every physician who faces a malpractice suit.”
"Amazing and helpful"
"Great educational experience-exactly what I was looking for."
"Excellent. Best presenter I have seen for many years."
"Excellent. Knowledge is comforting."