In any clinical malpractice situation the place a plaintiff statements your physician-consumer violated the applicable typical of treatment, a single of the protection attorney’s initially jobs is—or ought to be—to detect an specialist to defend your client’s remedy.  At very first glance, this process looks uncomplicated.  Soon after all, the simple goal is to establish a individual that can vouch for the treatment your client furnished.  But states keep unique criteria that from time to time differ as to who can do the vouching.

Nebraska practitioners are most likely common with their state’s own typical.  In Nebraska, a proposed specialist health practitioner can testify relating to yet another physician’s compliance (or lack thereof) with the relevant regular of care if the proposed skilled has “personal awareness of, and familiarity with, the customary apply between medical gurus in the exact or equivalent locality under like situation.”  Financial institution v. Mickels, 302 Neb. 1009, 1018, 926 N.W.2d 97, 104-05 (2019).  As a result, Nebraska maintains no for every se prerequisite that the proposed qualified need to exercise in the identical discipline or specialty as the doctor whose perform is at concern.  See Hoffart v. Hodge, 9 Neb. Application. 161, 171-72, 609 N.W.2d 397, 406 (2000) (rejecting argument that only Ob-Gyns can present testimony as to whether an Ob-Gyn defendant achieved the conventional of treatment) Vilcinskas v. Johnson, 252 Neb. 292, 296, 562 N.W.2d 57, 61 (1997) (stating “the testimony of competent healthcare medical doctors are unable to be excluded only mainly because they are not professionals in a certain school of clinical follow.”).  One simply need to have expertise and familiarity with the relevant normal of care to deliver qualified testimony.

But Iowa maintains a a lot more stringent conventional.  Specifically, under Iowa Code § 147.139:

. . . [T]he courtroom shall only let a particular person the plaintiff designates as an professional witness to qualify as an specialist witness and to testify on the difficulty of the acceptable standard of treatment or breach of the standard of treatment if all of the following are set up by the evidence:

  1. The human being is licensed to practice in the very same or a significantly similar discipline as the defendant, is in very good standing in each individual state of licensure, and in the five several years previous the act or omission alleged to be negligent, has not experienced a license in any condition revoked or suspended.
  2. In the 5 a long time previous the act or omission alleged to be negligent, the human being actively practiced in the same or a considerably very similar subject as the defendant or was a capable instructor at an accredited college in the identical subject as the defendant.
  3. If the defendant is board-qualified in a specialty, the man or woman is licensed in the identical or a significantly very similar specialty by a board regarded by the American board of clinical specialties, the American osteopathic association, or the council on podiatric medical schooling.

The statute also provides:

  • If the defendant is a certified medical doctor or osteopathic medical doctor beneath chapter 148, the person is a health practitioner or osteopathic medical doctor certified in this point out or a different point out.
  • If the defendant is a certified podiatric doctor less than chapter 149, the man or woman is a physician, osteopathic medical professional, or a podiatric health practitioner licensed in this condition or an additional state.

As a result, in Iowa, it is not more than enough that a proposed expert witness is acquainted with the relevant typical of treatment.  As a substitute, the proposed skilled have to be certified in the very same specialty as the defendant, qualified with the exact same or considerably very similar board as the defendant (if the defendant maintains this sort of certification), and have to have recently taken care of an active observe in the same or significantly equivalent area.  Merely mentioned, these stringent expectations have enamel.  See Ward v. United Healthcare, No. 20-1516, 2021 Iowa Application. LEXIS 1039, *13-17 (Iowa Ct. Application. Dec. 15, 2021) (affirming determination that unexpected emergency medicine medical doctor was unqualified to testify pertaining to remedy furnished by hospital administration, nurses, radiologists, surgeons, or hospitalists).

The dissimilarities in between Nebraska and Iowa’s specialist qualification specifications deliver a very simple lesson: though a health practitioner may well be skilled to present skilled testimony on a individual subject matter in a person point out, that same health practitioner may possibly not be competent to offer you testimony on that exact same topic in yet another condition.  Specifically when participating in multi-point out follow, attorneys should hold in thoughts the opportunity that states might preserve disparate skilled qualification standards.