Course: Risk Management Essentials for Physicians, Second Edition
Author: Rosemary Gafner and James Schutte
AMA PRA Category 1 credits: 10
Estimated Hours to Complete Course: 9.00
Estimated Minutes to Complete Test: 60
Course Release Date: 2/1/2013
Course Expiration Date: 12/31/2021
An overview of essential areas of medical risk management and techniques to improve patient safety.

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Risk Management Essentials for Physicians
Second Edition

The majority of malpractice suits involve one or more communication failures at critical points in the delivery of health care.  But 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, you should be able to:
1. List the elements that a plaintiff must prove in court in order to prevail against the doctor in a medical malpractice claim.
2. Explain the importance of good rapport to an effective physician-patient relationship, along with techniques for developing rapport.
3. List common mistakes doctors make in taking the medical history.
4. Provide examples of common documentation errors made by doctors.
5. Explain why low health literacy is a major obstacle to the delivery of health care, and list ways to address the problem.
6. Describe the scope of your duty when making or accepting a specialty referral.
7. Explain what a “curb-side consult” is, and circumstances under which it may create a duty of care.
8. 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 physicians who want a solid understanding of principles of medical risk management and ways to improve patient safety. 
This is a self-study course consisting of text and CME test, enabling physicians to study at their own pace.  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 10 AMA PRA Category 1 creditsTM.

This course was developed by Rosemary Gafner, Ed.D., and James E. Schutte, Ph.D.  Their CVs are available on request or 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 10 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 February 1, 2019 and expires December 31, 2021.

Estimated time to complete this course:  10 hours.

Commercial Support

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


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