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The relations between physicians and lawyers have deteriorated rapidly over the past several decades, most particularly since the early 70s when the perception that a medical malpractice crisis existed in America became widespread. Some believe that the factors dividing the two professions . are linked (1) to professional jealousy, (2) to sometimes conflicting economic interests, or (3) to difficulties in communication, since both professions use many of the same words, or terms of art, but with different intended meanings. While the authors agree that these factors may have aggravated the problem, they believe that the conflict's real roots are in the very different ways in which physicians and lawyers are trained and in the different epistemologies that each profession has accepted, as a result of which each reasons and solves problems in a manner that not only diverges from but sometimes contradicts the other's. The authors conclude that only as the varying epistemologies begin to converge can physicians and lawyers begin to approach problems in more similar ways, and to discover the underlying compatibility of many of their interests and goals.

Publication Title

American Journal of Law & Medicine



First Page



Medical Malpractice, Relationships, Physicians, Lawyers


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