Course: Risk Management Consult: Informed Consent, Second Edition
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: 6/1/2013
Course Expiration Date: 12/31/2021
An overview of issues related to informed consent.

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Risk Management Consult
Informed Consent, 2nd ed.

The single most common issue associated with malpractice claims against all surgical specialists is the allegation that the physician failed to obtain informed consent.  According to statistics compiled by the Physician Insurers Association of America (PIAA), a consortium of over 50 physician- and dentist-owned malpractice carriers, about 15 percent of all claims against surgeons involve informed consent issues, and about one-third of these claims are closed with a payment to the patient, either through jury awards or out-of-court settlements. 
Upon completion of this course, a physician should be able to:
1. Outline the information that must be shared with the patient to obtain informed consent.
2. Explain the physician’s nondelegable duties in obtaining informed consent.
3. Describe proper techniques for documenting the patient education and informed consent processes.
4. Explain what “informed refusal” is, and your duty when the patient refuses recommended care.
5. Define the term “ghost surgery,” and describe common situations in which a surgeon may unwittingly engage in such practices.
6. Explain the difference between reassuring the patient and making an implied warranty.
7. Describe steps for making sure that your patient’s expectations of treatment are realistic.
Target Audience
This course is designed for physicians who want to reduce their liability and improve patient safety by ensuring that patients understand and can take part in their treatment plan.
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, Ph.D. Their CVs are available online 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.

This activity is valid for release January 1, 2019 and will expire December 31, 2021.

Estimated time to complete this course and test:  5 hours.

Commercial Support

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


No one in a position to influence course content has anything to disclose.