You are a medical student in the midst of your basic sciences courses or your clerkship. Or, you are a house officer trying to find a balance between your clinical training, medical learning, duty hours, family responsibilities and need for sleep. Perhaps you are an employed physician or an independent practitioner, reviewing a new or updated services contract.

With all of these competing interests, the additional challenge of understanding the myriad features of risk management and medical liability insurance no doubt will seem daunting. Regardless of which example describes your situation, overlooking the importance of effective risk management and detailed medical liability coverage could have harmful, if not disastrous, consequences both professionally and personally.

The Academy has conducted intermittent surveys of graduating pediatric residents to ascertain whether pediatric trainees had received instruction on a number of medico-legal issues, Results from the latest survey in 2007 indicated that barely...

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