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Restoring Medical Professionalism:Physicians as Advocates for Patients

CLE conference
CWRU Law Moot Courtroom
Friday, Mar 25, 2022 at 8:00 AM (ET) to Saturday, Mar 26, 2022 at 1:00 PM (ET)

The Law-Medicine Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law is hosting an interdisciplinary conference titled “Restoring Medical Professionalism: Physicians as Advocates for Their Patients” which will explore ways in which physicians can be supported when they advocate for their patients’ welfare. The event will be held on Friday, March 25, and Saturday morning, March 26, 2022.

The ability of physicians to advocate for their patients is an essential aspect of their professionalism, and critical for patient trust and well-being. Modern medicine recognized this by stating at the outset of the first modern code of medical ethics that patient welfare depended on physicians’ “skill, attention, and fidelity,” and the law accordingly regards physicians as fiduciaries for their patients. Yet pressures on physicians from employers and others have limited physicians’ ability to fulfill this vital obligation. One response might be to punish physicians who succumb to these pressures, but a better solution would be to support physicians who resist them. The March conference therefore will explore ways to strengthen physicians’ ability to advocate for their patients. Many people think it is too late, that physicians have irretrievably lost this crucial aspect of professionalism, but for the sake of patients and the profession, this conference hopes that this is not the case.

The conference will be open to the public, webcast, and videotaped for later viewing. It will begin with proposals from invited experts, followed by discussion with the presenters, other experts, and the general audience. Following the conference, a report and recommendations will be published in the Case Western Reserve University health law journal, Health Matrix, and publicly disseminated.

Presenters include Robert Bitonte, MD, JD, and past president of the LA County Medical Society, who will propose creating a billing code for patient advocacy; Stuart Bussey, MD, JD, president of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, who will propose unionization of employed physicians; Professor Mark Hall at Wake Forest, who will propose reinvigorating state corporate-practice-of-medicine laws to limit private equity ownership of physician practices; Sara Scher, RN, JD, CEO of the Cooperative of American Physicians, who will propose facilitating access to medical malpractice insurance for small and sole practices; and CWRU law professor Maxwell Mehlman, JD, who propose expanding state and federal laws and judicial rules that seek to protect physicians who act as fiduciaries for their patients from retaliation by employers, insurers, and others.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Law-Medicine Center and the Cooperative of American Physicians.   
                                                                 

                                         Restoring Medical Professionalism:
                                   Physicians as Advocates for Their Patients

Friday, March 25-26, 2022
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Law-Medicine Center


Friday, March 25


8:00 am – 8:45 am Continental Breakfast

9:00 am - 9:40 am Welcome & Introduction
Max Mehlman, Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Law & Co-Director, Law-Medicine Center

9:40 am - 10:20 am American Medicine: On the Square
Robert Bitonte, M.D., J.D., American Academy of Legal Medicine
Moderator: Professor Max Mehlman, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

10:20 am - 10:35 am Break

10:35 am - 11:15 am MICRA: The History and the Current Challenge
Sarah Scher, J.D., R.N., Chief Executive Officer Cooperative American Physicians
Moderator: Professor Max Mehlman, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

11:15 am – 11:55 am The Growing Role of Private Equity in Health Services
Mark Hall, J.D., Professor of Law and Public Health, Wake Forest University
Moderator: Professor Max Mehlman, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

11:55 am - 12:30 pm Lunch

12:30 pm - 1:10 pm Physician Unionization
Stuart Bussey, M.D., J.D., President, Union of American Physicians and Dentists
Robert Bitonte, M.D., J.D., American Academy of Legal Medicine
Moderator: Professor Max Mehlman, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

1:10 pm – 1:50 pm Beyond Morals of the Marketplace: Lawyers as Fiduciaries
Milan Markovic, J.D., M.A., Professor, Presidential Impact Fellow, and a Co-Convener of the Program in law and Social Science at Texas A&M University School of Law
Moderator: Professor Max Mehlman, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

1:50 pm – 2:30 pm Strengthening Legal Protections for Physicians Who Advocate for their Patients
Max Mehlman, J.D., Professor, Co-Director Law Medicine Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

2:30 pm - 2:45 pm Break

2:45 pm – 3:25 pm Health Advocacy Organization: The Medical Student Perspective
Panel of Law and Medical Students, Case Western Reserve University
Moderator: Professor Max Mehlman, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

3:25 pm – 5:30 pm Discussion: Additional Steps to Support Physician Advocacy
Robert Bitonte, M.D., J.D., American Academy of Legal Medicine
Max Mehlman, J.D., Professor, Co-Director Law Medicine Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Law


Saturday, March 26


8:00 am – 8:45 am Continental Breakfast

9:00 am – 10:45 am Identifying Promising Directions for the Future
Robert Bitonte, M.D., J.D., American Academy of Legal Medicine
Max Mehlman, J.D., Professor, Co-Director Law Medicine Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

10:45 am – 11:00 am Break

11:00 am – 12:00 pm Identifying Promising Directions for the Future Continuted
Robert Bitonte, M.D., J.D., American Academy of Legal Medicine
Max Mehlman, J.D., Professor, Co-Director Law Medicine Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

12:00 pm – 12:45 pm Effectuating Positive Change
Robert Bitonte, M.D., J.D., American Academy of Legal Medicine
Max Mehlman, J.D., Professor, Co-Director Law Medicine Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

12:45 pm – 1:00 pm Closing Remarks

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