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About This Course

The healthcare system has experienced an increase in the number of lawsuits and medical professionals have stepped forth to expand their professional role within the legal system to educate attorneys, judges, and juries. Medical professionals have the knowledge, competency, credential, and expertise to judge whether the appropriate standard of medical care has been delivered. Medical professionals are consulting into an expanding area of medical legal concerns such as personal injury, worker’s compensation, product liability, criminal custody cases, risk management, life-care planning, case management, healthcare licensing board issues, insurance industry, as well as expert witness. While many medical professional legal consultants work in law offices, and the insurance industries, they are also adopting an entrepreneurial spirit and starting their own businesses.

This exciting program prepares Medical Professionals for a career in the legal field as medical professional legal consultants. Building on the medical education and clinical experience of medical professionals, this course provides students with fundamental skills necessary to advise law firms, health care providers, insurance companies, and governmental agencies regarding medically-related issues and to appear in court as expert witnesses. The curriculum of this course is designed to comply with the educational guidelines specified by the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants.

This six week course is approved for 45 Category 1 continuing medical education (CME) hours by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). This course will provide a comprehensive analysis of the principles and practices of medical professional legal consulting (MPLC), with an emphasis on law and expert witness testimony. While most of the main subject matter will pertain to legal nursing standards, professionals in other health care disciplines (pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistants, etc.) may gain increased skills and knowledge of the medical legal system to enhance their roles as service providers and functions as expert witnesses. Successful graduates will be awarded a Certificate of Course Completion from the university through which they are registered.

Course Objectives:

  • Define the role of a medical professional legal consultant and explain history and evolution from legal nurse consulting into it’s own profession.
  • Describe 2 major systems of law, the 3 types of law, and the 4 sources of law.
  • Review the law of Intentional and Unintentional Torts.
  • Identify liability concerns of healthcare providers.
  • Analyze the role of the MPLC before the trial begins.
  • Review the methods of obtaining medical records and other evidence that is governed by the Rules of Evidence.
  • Identify and review the legal documents used to obtain evidence.
  • Explain informed consent, treatments decisions, and review the liability concerns of health care providers in each.
  • Discuss criminal law and complex litigation scenarios.
  • Discuss the history of the Specialty of Legal Nurse Consulting.
  • Discuss the skills needed for entry into special practice.
  • Professionalism and Ethics: discuss the standards of practice and performance expected of a MPLC.
  • Identify the 5 responsibilities of a MPLC in the litigation process.
  • Examine the role of the MPLC in evaluating Toxic Tort and Criminal Cases.
  • The damages stage of litigation: Identify the 4 types of damages available and discuss the factors that determine their application to the case.
  • Recall the evaluation steps taken by the MPLC in a professional negligence case.
  • Identify and discuss the 3 different forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
  • Discuss the MPLC’s role in the Law Firm.
  • Discuss the issues presented to MPLCs in the insurance industry.
  • Discuss the issues presented to MPLCs in private practice areas.
  • Discuss the issues presented to MPLCs in Government Service.
  • Discuss the issues presented to MPLCs in Risk Management.
  • Medical record analysis: discuss the protocol MPLCs should follow when receiving medical records.
  • Legal Writing: Review the writing techniques that will captivate your target audience.
  • Discuss the literature research process and the methods of research.
  • Discuss the advantages and challenges of working as an independent MPLC.

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

This program has been reviewed and is approved for a maximum of 45.00 hours of AAPA Category 1 CME credit by the Physician Assistant Review Panel. Approval is valid for one year from the issue date of 05/01/2017.

This program was planned in accordance with AAPA’s CME Standards for Enduring Material Programs and for Commercial Support of Enduring Material Programs.

Successful completion of exams is required to earn Category 1 CME credit. Successful completion is defined as a cumulative score of at least 70 percent correct.

AAPA Category 1 CME

Expectations

This is an accelerated course. You will be expected to spend an average of about 12 hours per week reading and completing assignments. Please note that extensions will not be granted for this online course. This course is the equivalent of 45 clock hours of study. 70% is the minimum passing score on all tests and assignments for this course.

Course Goals Include

  • Increase knowledge of legal terminology, medical malpractice, and the evolving legal system.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge of professional skills necessary to enhance one’s medical legal consulting role.
  • Identify new arenas for expanding one’s interests and skills for professional mobility and growth.
  • Consider and contrast working as a full-time, part-time, or freelance medical profession legal consultant.

Course Books

Required textbooks for this course:

Legal Nurse Consulting: Principles and Practices, 3rd edition (2 volume set), edited by Ann M. Peterson and Lynda Kopishke (2010). New York: CRC Press. (Volume 1 will be referred to as LNCPrinciples and Volume 2 will be referred to as LNCPractices throughout the course).

  • Volume 1: Legal Nurse Consulting Principles
  • Volume 2: Legal Nurse Consulting Practices

To order, call The Center for Legal Studies at 1-888-238-5204, or Click Here to order online.

3rd Edition Reading Assignments:

Lesson One: Introduction to Law and Medical Professional Legal Consultant (MPLC)
Read Lesson Material on Course Website
Read Chapters 1 & 6 and pages 38-43 in LNCPrinciples

Lesson Two: Ethics, Standards of Care and the Profession of MPLC
Read Lesson Material on Course Website
Read pages 44-83 and Chapter 3 in LNCPrinciples

Lesson Three: Medical Malpractice, Licensure, Case Analysis & Legal Practice Areas,
Read Lesson Material on Course Website
Read Chapters 4, 17, 18, & 23 in LNCPrinciples
Read Chapter 7 in LNCPractices

Lesson Four: Criminal Law, Complex Litigation, Medical Records,and Informed Consent
Read Lesson Material on Course Website
Read Chapters 5, 7, 8, 12, 20, 21, & 22 in LNCPrinciples
Read Chapter 9 in LNCPractices

Lesson Five: The Role of MPLC in the Litigation Process
Read Lesson Material on Course Website
Read Chapters 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, & 19 in LNCPrinciples
Read Chapter 19 in LNCPractices

Lesson Six: Other Roles and Work Environments for the MPLC
Read Lesson Material on Course Website
Read Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, & 13 in LNCPractices

Tests:

For each lesson you will submit a 100-point test covering the topics in that lesson’s reading. These tests are due before 9:00 a.m. each Monday.

Bulletin Board Assignments:

For each lesson you will also submit your responses to a reflection assignment. These assignments are referred to as Bulletin Board Submissions and will be submitted by either selecting Bulletin Board Submission from within the lesson material, or by selecting ‘Forums’ under Activities on the Left Hand Block.

All weekly objectives, assignments, and tests can be found in the Lesson Materials.

Additional resources are available by accessing the URL Library tool.

Grading

Your grade will be based on your completion of six tests and six Bulletin Board Submissions. The tests can be accessed from within the lesson material, or by selecting ‘Assignments’ under Activities on the Left Hand Block. Throughout the course, you will use the Bulletin Board tool to respond to reflection assignments which will enhance your understanding of the reading material.

Your final grade will be figured as follows:

  • The six tests are 100 points each and comprise 70% of your grade.
  • The six bulletin board assignments are 10 points each and comprise 30% of your grade.

NOTE: Students must receive a 70% or better on every assignment to receive a certificate.

Withdrawal Policy

Students may drop the course with a full tuition refund less a non-refundable $15 administrative fee if written notice is sent to The Center for Legal Studies by email at [email protected] by the Wednesday before class begins. Students may drop the course with a 50% tuition refund if written notice is sent to The Center for Legal Studies by email at [email protected] anytime from the Thursday before the course begins until the first Thursday of class. After the first Thursday of class, no refunds will be issued.