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This Trial Lawyer Spent Half an Hour Asking His Medical Expert About His Credentials at Trial. Why Would He Spend So Much Time Doing That?

It was a medical malpractice trial.
I walked in to observe.
The defense lawyer called his medical expert to testify.

He was meticulous in his approach.
He wanted the jury to get to know this expert.
He wanted the jury to understand why they should accept his opinions and conclusions.

He wanted the jury to recognize this wasn't just an everyday physician.
He wanted to show how his expert was different.
He wanted to show the jury his expert was exceptional.

He started by asking her where he went to college.
Then medical school.
Those are typical questions.

Before going on to the next credential, he stopped and asked him questions about college.
"Did you receive any awards or scholarships in college?"
The defense attorney knew the answer.

He had his CV in front of him.
But the jury didn't know.
That's why he was asking the question.

"Yes, I received a full four year academic scholarship to college," he answered.
"Yes, I received honors recognition during college as well," he said.

"Did you receive any awards or scholarships while in medical school?" he asked.
"Yes, I did. I was inducted into the National Medical Honor Society, Alpha Omega Alpha," he answered.
"Only the top 2% of medical students in the country achieve this distinction," he said calmly.

Then he asked him about his post-graduate training.
About his internship and residency training.
Then he asked what hospital affiliations he had.

"I'm a clinical assistant professor. I teach the residents both formally and informally."
"What's involved with teaching the doctors-in-training, formally and informally," he asked, again, already knowing the answer.
"I teach the residents during my surgeries. I teach them when making rounds. I also teach them in a formal lecture hall," she said.

"Have you received any teaching awards from the residents and the hospital where you work?"
You know the answer, right? Of course she did.
"Yes, I received the teacher of the year award, given to one outstanding attending physician each year from our specialty," he said.
"I received this award twice," he mentioned.

"In addition to your teaching both informally and formally, have you had ocassion to publish articles in peer-reviewed medical journals?"
You know what the answer is.
"Yes, I have. That means that my articles were reviewed by world-reknown medical experts in my specialty who deemed these articles appropriate for these medical journals," he said.

"In addition to your articles that you published, have you published any textbooks?" he asked.
You know what's coming...
"Yes, I have," he said.

"I published an entire textbook that is used by doctors-in-training throughout the country on this topic," he said.

Why was this important?
Because it reinforced his authority.
It established his expertise.

It showed he wasn't just an everyday practicing clinician.
Rather, he had published. He had lectured. He taught. He saw patients. He operated and performed surgery.
This recitation of his credentials was impressive.

It wasn't just a reading of where he went to school and what he did afterward.
It was a detailed look at his professional life.
Thirty minutes was spent examining and explaining how this expert has achieved distinction among his medical peers and colleagues.

By the time the defense lawyer was done asking about his credentials, there was no question that he was a highly qualified, board certified medical expert, capable of evaluating and opining on the merits of this case.

To learn why an attorney might quickly agree to recognize a doctor is qualified as an expert, I invite you to watch the quick video below...


Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer