Legal medicine in medical schools: a survey of the state of the art

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American medical colleges are showing increased interest in acquainting their students with legal aspects of the practice of medicine. However, little is known about the role of legal medicine in the medical school curriculum. During the summer of 1978 the author sent a questionnaire to all U.S. medical schools. The 86% response rate suggests considerable interest in the subject matter. The results of the survey indicate that while 40% of the schools require their students to complete some course work in legal medicine, the curricula vary considerably among the schools. The topics most frequently covered are informed consent and malpractice.

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