Course: Risk Management Rounds: Orthopaedics Plus, Vol. III
Author: Rosemary Gafner and James Schutte
AMA PRA Category 1 credits: 6
Estimated Hours to Complete Course: 5.50
Estimated Minutes to Complete Test: 30
Course Release Date: 9/1/2014
Course Expiration Date: 12/31/2021
Risk management for the orthopaedist.

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Risk Management Rounds
Orthopaedics Plus, Volume III


This is a course about learning to recognize and prevent the common lapses in communication and documentation that give rise to avoidable malpractice suits. An “avoidable” malpractice suit for our purposes is one in which the patient has sued over an unwanted result, yet there was no clear-cut negligence by the orthopaedist in the performance of the procedure in question. Rather, the allegations involve matters of informed consent (“I never said you could do that!”), patient education (“Why didn’t you explain my alternatives?”), medical records (“Why didn’t you review my prior X-rays?”), and other issues that arise from lapses in communication.


Upon completion of this course, a physician should be able to:

1.  Apply communication principles that will help improve patient relationships and will positively affect patient outcomes.
2. Apply principles of informed consent and informed refusal in a variety of clinical situations.
3.  Explain your duties when performing an independent medical examination and when testifying as an expert witness.
4.  Understand how surgical and medical record documentation and maintenance affects litigation and patient safety.
5.  Understand how the courts define an orthopaedist’s duty in a variety of patient care situations.

Target Audience
This course is designed for orthopaedists who want current information on limiting their professional liability.


This is a self-study course consisting of text and CME test.  Physicians should read the course content, answer the test questions and submit the answers for scoring.  Those who complete the course with a score of 80 percent or higher will earn a maximum of 6 AMA PRA Category 1 creditsTM.


This course was developed by Rosemary Gafner, Ed.D. and James E. Schutte, Ph.D.  Their CVs are available at

CME Information

Medical Risk Management, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing education for physicians.  Medical Risk Management, Inc. designates this  enduring material  for a maximum of 6 AMA PRA Category 1 creditsTM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Estimated time to complete this activity: 6 hours.

Commercial Support

This activity was developed solely by Medical Risk Management, Inc. without any commercial support.


Neither Dr. Gafner nor Dr. Schutte have anything to disclose.

Please check with your insurance carrier for approved courses before registering.  Courses not approved by your insurance carrier will not be accepted by them for any discounts they may offer.