Collaborative Diagnosis: Interdisciplinary Problem-Solving between Physicians and Lawyers

International Journal of Health, Wellness & Society, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 37-43, 2013

Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-14

8 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2013 Last revised: 18 Apr 2013

See all articles by Robert Pettignano

Robert Pettignano

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Lisa Bliss

Georgia State University - College of Law

Sylvia Caley

Georgia State University College of Law

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Patient and client-centered practice and accurate problem diagnosis require that we understand the context within which the patient/clients’ problem originated. Effective problem solving depends upon context-specific solutions. This article describes the interaction of a medical clinician/educator and two legal clinicians/educators who work and teach together as part of an interdisciplinary community collaboration. We demonstrate how a pediatric hospital and two medical schools that treat acutely and chronically ill children collaborate with a legal services clinic based in a law school to provide interdisciplinary clinical education for students and engage in interdisciplinary problem solving for the benefit of patients and clients. Pediatric residents and medical students partner with law students, as well as treating physicians to evaluate and interpret case facts and develop strategies for addressing patient/client problems. A case study demonstrates the opportunities for interdisciplinary problem solving among the collaborators and the benefits of viewing patient/client issues through the lens of other disciplines. The article describes how the medical and legal professions each view a particular case scenario, and how professionals can work together to diagnose and treat a problem, thereby addressing the social determinants of health and wellness that affect the patient/client. A physician can provide better care when he/she understands the legal issues faced by the parent and how those issues can impact the family’s ability to access health care or to follow a care plan. Likewise, a lawyer representing a parent with a sick child can be a better advocate when he/she understands the patient’s medical diagnoses and needs.

Keywords: clinical legal education, legal education, medical-legal partnership, clinicians, patient-client relationships, pediatric care, health law, health care

JEL Classification: I10, I19, K32, K39, K49, K00, Z00

Suggested Citation

Pettignano, Robert and Bliss, Lisa and Caley, Sylvia, Collaborative Diagnosis: Interdisciplinary Problem-Solving between Physicians and Lawyers (2013). International Journal of Health, Wellness & Society, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 37-43, 2013; Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-14. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2237492

Robert Pettignano

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta ( email )

Atlanta, GA
United States

Lisa Bliss (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

Sylvia Caley

Georgia State University College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
329
Abstract Views
1,088
rank
91,165
PlumX Metrics