Over the years, I have reviewed many cases and read many physician defendant depositions in medical malpractice actions. I have found that there is no standard format used by attorney's to obtain important and relevant information from a defendant physician. For your interest, the following is a list of questions I was able to glean from hundreds of physician defendant depositions. Attorneys asked these questions, and I list them here only because it is interesting to see the wide range of approaches.
Personal Questions Asked of Physician Defendants at Deposition
1) Age, place of birth, college attended, and medical school attended.
2) How many medical schools did you apply to, and which ones were you accepted to?
3) How many students graduated with you in your medical school graduating class, and what was your ranking?
4) What type of internship did you take, what was the name of the hospital and where was it located?
5) What type of residency program did you take, how many years was it, with what hospital was it affiliated and in what city and state was it located?
6) During medical school, internship, and residency were you ever reprimanded for anything, and if so, what?
7) As it relates to the patient's care in question, and that general field, what textbooks did you purchase in medical school, internship, and residency: specify.
8) Do you consider any of them authoritative? If not, why not? Why did you purchase them? On what recommendation?
9) Are those books generally utilized in your specialty field, and if so for what purpose?
10) What medical journals have you subscribed to in the past, and which ones do you presently subscribe to? Why do you subscribe to them?
11) Have you ever been denied hospital privileges at any hospital that you applied to?
12) Have your hospital privileges ever been restricted, revoked, or limited in any way, and if so how, when, and why?
13) Has your medical license to practice ever been restricted, revoked, or limited in any way? If so how, when and why?
14) Concerning the care of this patient in question, during the hour or hours you were treating this patient, how many other patients did you have ongoing immediate responsibility for?
15) In the preceding twenty-four hours of the care at issue in this case, how many hours had you slept?
16) Has your drivers license ever been restricted or revoked, for any infractions, and if so, why and when?
17) Prior to the incident in question, when did you last have your eyeglass prescription changed. After the event, when was your eyeglass prescription next changed?
18) During the time you were caring for this patient, were you receiving any prescription medications and if so, which medications and for what purpose? What dosage were you taking?
19) During the time you were caring for this patient, were you under the effects of any nonprescription drugs, alcohol, or controlled substances? If so, which ones, and what dosages, and why?
20) Concerning the care in question, did you discuss this case with any other health professionals and if so, when, why, and specifically what was said and/or transmitted in writing, and if it was in writing, what was communicated and do you have copies of these documents?
21) Was the case in question ever subjected to any peer review, or death and complications conferences? If so, what type of conference, who attended, where and when was it located, and what was discussed?
22) Did you rely upon any other health professional, physician, physician's assistant, nurse, or other health care provider while giving care to this patient for the incident in question? If so, who was that person or persons, what was their role in the care, what reliance did you place upon them, were there any departures from the standards of care in your opinion concerning their care of the patient?
23) If you claim that the patient was fully or partially responsible for their injuries, please specify how and why.
24) Other than your attorney, did you discuss this case with any insurance company representative, or anyone else? If so, who was that person, who are they affiliated with, what was the purpose of the discussion, and what was said?
25) Are you board-certified in any specialty field? If so, what field?
26) Did you ever fail any part of your board examinations? If so, when and what did you do about it?
27) For your medical license, does your state require that you obtain continuing medical education (CME) credits? If so, how many credits are you required to obtain, how often have you been required to do so, and specify in detail how you obtained your CME credits: books and journals read, test taken, conferences attended, etc. If you attended conferences, do you have a copy of the program. If not where can it be obtained?