Course: Risk Management Consult: Pediatrics
Author: Rosemary Gafner and James Schutte
AMA PRA Category 1 credits: 5
Estimated Hours to Complete Course: 4.50
Estimated Minutes to Complete Test: 30
Course Release Date: 9/1/2012
Course Expiration Date: 12/31/2021
A course to help pediatricians avoid common issues that can adversely affect patient safety.

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The majority of malpractice suits involve one or more communication failures at critical points in the delivery of health care. If not for such lapses, the grounds for the suit would not arise in the first place. Even where a clear-cut medical error has been committed, as we’ll see, effective communication strategies can often identify and correct the problem before the patient is injured.


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

1. List the most common errors made by pediatricians that give rise to avoidable malpractice suits.

2. Describe prescribing strategies that will help avoid medication errors.

3. Explain what “premature closure” is, and why it leads to diagnostic errors.

4. Describe your duties to the parents and other family members of your patients.

5. Describe the scope of your duty when making or accepting a specialty referral.

6. Explain what a “curb-side consult” is, and circumstances under which it may create a duty of care.

7. List the steps needed to create a fool-proof method for keeping track of test results, and why such a system is necessary.

Target Audience

This course is designed for pediatricians and others who treat children.


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 5 AMA PRA Category 1 creditsTM.


This course was developed by Rosemary Gafner, Ed.D. and James E. Schutte, PhD. 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 5 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 course:  5 hours.

Commercial Support

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

Faculty Disclosure

Neither Dr. Gafner nor Dr. Schutte have any relevant financial relationship with any commercial interest.