, Volume 14, Issue 7, pp 441-443

A medicolegal curriculum for internal medicine residents

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Many residents lack knowledge about medicolegal issues. To assess the ability of 64 primary care residents to learn legal medicine, we studied the impact of a medicolegal curriculum in a randomized, controlled study. We measured residents’ medicolegal knowledge using a novel test, the Legal Medicine Evaluation (LME). We found that the mean LME score of residents exposed to the curriculum increased 15.5 points (on a 100-point scale) to 65.9 (p<.01), while the mean LME score of control residents increased only 3.5 points, to 53.5 (p=.05). Clearly, residents can learn basic medicolegal principles. Thus, observed deficiencies in medicolegal knowledge most likely arise from inadequate medicolegal instruction.

Dr. Kollas completed this article while working at Orlando Regional Healthcare System, Orlando, Fla.
This work was supported by Geisinger Clinic Grant 96C-123, Penn State Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pa.