Course: Risk Management Rounds: Surgery, Second Edition
Author: Rosemary Gafner and James Schutte
AMA PRA Category 1 credits: 6
Estimated Hours to Complete Course: 5.00
Estimated Minutes to Complete Test: 60
Course Release Date: 11/1/2013
Course Expiration Date: 11/1/2021
Risk management and patient safety information for surgeons.

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Risk Management Rounds
Surgery, 2nd ed.

Unlike medical specialists, surgeons usually don’t form enduring relationships with their patients.  The resulting emotional detachment leaves patients with less compunction against suing over a bad result.  Also, whereas medical specialists are generally seen as “treaters” who require time and patience to produce results, surgeons are seen as “fixers” from whom overnight miracles are not only deemed possible, but frequently expected. This course focuses on risk management issues specific to the practice of surgery.
When you complete this course, you should be able to:
1.  Demonstrate how communication with patients can help improve patient care and prevent lawsuits.
2.  Apply principles of informed consent, implied consent, and informed refusal in a variety of clinical situations.
3.  Recognize and avoid situations, such as “ghost surgery,” that violate informed consent.
4.  Maintain patient records in a manner that reduces the likelihood of medical errors.
 5.  Understand how the courts define a surgeon’s duty in a variety of patient care situations.
6.  Participate in the peer review process without needlessly increasing your own legal exposure.
Target Audience
This course is designed for surgeons who want to limit their liability exposure and improve patient safety.

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. 

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 6 AMA PRA Category 1 creditsTM.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Estimated time to complete this activity: 6 hours.

This activity is valid for release November 1, 2018 and expires on October 31, 2021.

Commercial Support

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

Faculty Disclosure

Neither Dr. Gafner nor Dr. Schutte has anything to disclose.