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Can the Doctors School Grades be Subpoenaed

When you have filed a medical malpractice case in New York, is it possible to subpoena the medical school grades of the doctor you are suing, to show that he was not a solid or respectable student? One of the aspects your lawyer will want to find out is how the doctor in question, did in medical school. You might think that if we are able to show to the jury that he was a pitiful student, then it would be easy to establish that he did not know what he was doing while treating you.

You can Subpoena the Doctor's Grades

Let us say that the doctor has been practicing medicine for the past 25 years, and is board certified to practice medicine in the particular specialty in New York. Now the question is, can we go back to his medical school grades, assuming that they can be found, extract them and display them to the jury. We want to tell the jury that since the doctor failed in a class in medical school, it automatically relates to the fact that he did not know what he was doing while treating you.

Impractical Strategy if the Doctor is Experienced

We can try to do this, but in reality, the defense attorney will object vigorously, saying that what occurred in medical school 25 years ago (or 7 years ago for instance) is totally unrelated to what the claims are and what the defenses are in this particular case. In fact, the defense is going to argue that what happened in medical school has absolutely nothing to do with what occurred here.

The defense will further argue that not only did the doctor successfully graduate from medical school, but also went ahead and participated in an approved residency-training program in New York, and then took a difficult board certification examination, which tests the doctor's knowledge and experience based upon the specialty he has chosen. In fact, board certification is the highest level a doctor can achieve in his or her specialty.

When can this Strategy Work

In all likelihood, the judge will agree with the argument of the defense, and will conclude that whatever test the doctor had failed in the past during his studies has nothing to do with the case. However, if the doctor has just finished school, and has been practicing for only one year, then it would make a difference. There may be certain instances where we could make a compelling argument to the court that because of the doctor's inexperience, there is a suspicion coupled with evidence that the doctor was terrible in certain segments in medical school.

Everyone Has a Weakness and a Specialty

We can use this information to show to the jury that the doctor's knowledge and understanding clearly fell below the basic standards of medical care. In such instances, the judge might agree with the plaintiff's lawyer, and allow the bad grades of the doctor, to be shown to the jury. The jury might also be influenced by such evidence, and the credibility of the doctor will take a hit.

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