University of Pittsburgh

Medicine in the Courtroom

Catalog Number: 5279
2.0 Credits
Lecture
Priority: General Enrollment Course

This course will give students exposure to basic anatomy and medical principles that are encountered by attorneys during legal representation. The student will gain an appreciation for the diagnosis of anatomical injuries and diseases by medical history, physical examination, radiological imaging and diagnostic laboratory tests. The course will also explore the use of medical records and forensic studies at trial. The legal limitations and significance of these medical studies will be emphasized. In addition, specific injuries frequently present at litigation will be covered, such as ligament strains, fractures, herniated discs, whiplash, myofascial pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome and traumatic brain injuries. The diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of these injuries will be discussed and correlated with their legal ramifications, which include medical causation, medical malpractice, value determination, pre-existing conditions, and disability assessment. The course will conclude with the preparation and presentation of anatomical injuries, diseases and medical experts at trial. Based on this instruction, the student will examine a medical expert during a mock trial. Upon completion of the course, the student will be more skilled in evaluating a medical claim, deposing or cross examining medical experts, and effectively explaining medical findings to a fact finder. Finally, it is assumed that the student has no prior medical experience, and therefore, basic instruction of the medical science needed for the course is provided.

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Revised 09/28/2011 | Copyright 2011 | Site by UMC