Document Type: Perspective
Law School, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Aurora BayCare Medical Center, Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA
Physicians working in hospitals face challenges when it comes to understanding and meeting the medical, legal, and ethical subjects outlined in the hospital bylaws. Hospital staff physicians and the hospital administration both aspire for high quality medical care and the assurance of patient safety. Unfortunately, when quality concerns surface, there can be reasonable differences of opinion as to whether a physician’s practice pattern met the accepted threshold of the standard of care. Such differences of opinion can lead to conflict that fuels a physician review. One complication for physicians is that many of the issues that surface at peer reviews are veiled in legal concepts and underpinnings for which physicians lack education, training, and familiarity. It would be prudent for all physicians working in hospitals to become familiar with the hospital bylaws and regulations. Physicians must take a leadership role in assuring fair and equitable peer review.