Physicians and Attorneys Cooperative Education (PACE)

Program Overview

In the past few years, the legal and medical communities in New York State have been advocating for changes in how medical malpractice is handled. On the medical side, “achieving transformational improvements in the safety of health care” that are not only cost effective but measurable has been emphasized. (Landrigan, et al. NEJM 2010) On the legal side, major reforms in Tort laws, recommendations to Judges on the handling of malpractice cases, and general statutory changes such as protecting from “discovery” the statements that doctors make during quality assurance committee meetings ( have all been proposed.  The Physicians and Attorneys Cooperative Education Program (PACE) was launched in 2009 by Dr. Suzanne Karan and Honorable Matthew Rosenbaum as a venue to engage the medical and legal communities in non-litigious conversations about the intersections of our practices.

Each program seeks to use real cases (de-identified) in the setting of the courtroom, as the launching point for interactive conversations regarding key medical and legal issues. Defense and plaintiff’s lawyers, along with judges and relevant medical faculty provide the content expertise for the mock depositions and/or trials where program participants get to play key roles (i.e. plaintiff, expert witness).

Target Audience

The course is appropriately designed to provide medical students, residents, fellows and faculty in addition to lawyers and judges an opportunity to engage in interactive discussion about medical malpractice. The gap that exists is twofold: many clinicians are relatively unfamiliar with medical malpractice UNTIL it becomes personal. Most medical schools and residency programs do not formally educate their charges in this aspect of their careers. Thus, by using real cases as jumping off points for discussion, we hope to elucidate common pitfalls and highlight practice tips and standard measures that all clinicians can perform in order to mitigate the occurrence of malpractice. In addition, many from the legal community are not well versed in the most up to date evidence-based science and medical management that encompass topical medical malpractice cases. By engaging these two communities in ongoing conversations, the ultimate goals are education and prevention of unnecessary litigation.

Learning Objectives

Each program will focus on a particular aspect of medicine and law as they might interact in the typical courtroom case. Legal topics will include but are not limited to: the elements of negligence, the anatomy of a deposition/trial, expertise in witnesses, jury selection, and tort reform. Medical topics will vary depending on the case selected and will feature evidence based explanations as to the standard of care. 

At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  1. Identify the standard of care (and surrounding controversy) pertaining to the specific to case presented
  2. Stratify risks associated with specific case presented
  3. Appreciate the roles of the variety of clinicians in the treatment of the patient and exploration of possible conflicts of interest in the patient’s care.
  4. Understand the legal implications surrounding the case presented

Understand how a malpractice case, as exemplified in the clinical scenario presented, evolves over time starting from the date of the occurrence of the event, to the filing of a complaint, to the involvement of the hospital, retention of lawyers, depositions and the courtroom.

Conference Details

Special Note
This program is a two day event which takes place in two different locations

Wednesday May 8th at 6:00pm 
The University of Rochester
Saunders Research Building 
265 Crittenton Blvd.
Rochester, NY  14642

Thursday, May 9th at 9:00am 
Monore County Hall of Justice
99 Exchange Blvd.
Rochester, NY  14614

  • When

  • Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - Thursday, May 9, 2013
    6:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    Eastern Time Zone

  • Where

  • University of Rochester Saunders Research Building
    265 Crittenden Blvd.
    Rochester, New York 14642

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