A comprehensive presentation of the origin, nature, and ramifications of the medical malpractice litigation crisis, as well as possible solutions and alternatives to the current troubled system. The authors focus on the clinical face of litigation from the perspective of the practicing physician in a variety of specialties, ranging from family and emergency medicine to anesthesiology, obstetrics, gynecology, and plastic surgery. Special consideration is given to breast cancer and Pap smear litigation, risk management for the family physician, the emerging significance of e-medicine, and the importance of effective patient communication. Additional legal chapters examine the litigation process itself, offering insight into winning medical malpractice lawsuits, the role of the physician as expert witness or defendant, the process of discovery and deposition, and how a plaintiff's attorney views risk reduction. For public policy debate, the authors spell out the case for legal reform, suggest changes in medical-legal jurisprudence that can be of immediate benefit, and reflect on the broader problems of our entire health care system and its interface with law and public policy.