AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. April 2005, Volume 7, Number 4.

Test Questions

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Test Questions: Professional Self-Regulation

1. As part of their obligation to ensure that only qualified physicians practice medicine, state medical boards:

A. License physicians based on educational background, examination history, work experience and personal conduct.
B. Investigate complaints about physicians by reviewing malpractice data, information from hospitals, and reports from government agencies.
C. Are responsible for defining what constitutes unprofessional conduct and have the authority to place restriction on physicians' licensure when necessary.
D. All of the above.
E. A and B.

2. In many interviews, physicians admit that disclosing medical errors is ethically imperative. However, many physicians are still reluctant to report medical errors because of:

A. Fear of being sued.
B. Possibly being isolated from their peers.
C. Decrease in respect from other medical professionals.
D. Difficulty in accepting the idea that they are fallible.
E. All of the above.

3. Which of the following statements about malpractice litigation is true:

A. Most states in the US have a cap on non-economic damages for patients.
B. The concept of payment for 'pain and suffering' has been well recognized since the early 20th century.
C. In the US the majority of monies collected from malpractice premiums ultimately go toward the cost of litigation.
D. Malpractice claims are inversely related to the complexity of illness from which the claim arises.

4. Which of the following statements about the medical profession's relationship with the pharmaceutical industry, addressed in the journal discussion are true?

A. The False Claims Act was intended to punish those who submit fraudulent medical claims to the federal government.
B. The 'Anti-kickback' law of 1972 was meant to protect Medicare and Medicaid from unnecessary expenditures.
C. The pharmaceutical industry has not been responsive in trying to establish ethically permissible relations with physicians.
D. All of the above.
E. A and B.

5. A physician is treating a patient with heparin and accidentally overshoots the target PTT. The physician should:

A. Speak with the patient about the mistake and explain how you are working to correct it.
B. Correct the error, and, if there are no lasting harmful consequences, do not disclose the error to the patient.
C. Talk with the residency leadership about ways to better prepare residents to anticoagulate patients and avoid these errors in the future.
D. Correct the error, and, if there are no lasting harmful consequences, do not disclose the error to any supervisors.
E. B and D.
F. A and C.

6. Which of the following is NOT given by the Resident Review Committee as a reason for the work hour restriction?

A. Protect patients from tired physicians-in-training.
B. Protect physicians-in-training from the mental and physical exhaustion that results from excessive work.
C. Force residency programs that consistently fail to self-regulate into compliance with strict work hour guidelines.
D. Force hospitals to hire more ancillary staff and other non-physician providers, allowing physicians to have less responsibility on the wards.

7. The public has recently questioned the medical profession's right to self-regulation because:

A. With the Internet, the public has access to enough medical information to participate in the profession's regulation.
B. It finds current self-regulation standards to be weak, variable, and inconsistently applied.
C. Physicians have become so occupied in curing illnesses that professional self-regulation has become a neglected issue.
D. It believes that no profession that directly serves the public should be privately regulated.

8. Peer feedback should be encouraged among students and residents as well as among practicing physicians because:

A. Corporate firms already have a system in place for peer feedback.
B. Peer feedback can help improve patient care, facilitate additional learning, and demonstrate medicine's commitment to responsible self-regulation.
C. It will make doctors more diligent in their care if they know that they are always being evaluated by their peers.
D. Medical schools currently devote such a substantial amount of their pre-clinical curriculum to teaching peer feedback it should be fully integrated into the medical culture.

9. Physicians who serve as expert witnesses in malpractice litigation:

A. Should not receive payment because that creates a conflict of interest.
B. Serve society by making medical standards of care understandable to lay persons.
C. Should not be subject to sanction by their professional associations.
D. Do not need to restrict their testimony to areas of their expertise.
E. A and C.

10. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO):

A. Requires proof from hospitals that all physicians are board certified.
B. Requires hospitals to adopt and apply standards related to a physician's competence, skill, professional conduct, and ability to fulfill all of his or her professional responsibilities.
C. Gives no consideration to board certification when evaluating hospital standards for physician competence.
D. B and C.

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