Pathologists and Surgeons Can Collaborate to Reduce Diagnostic Errors


The Doctors Company has updated the claims filed against pathologists between the years 2015 and 2020. The information provides quantitative and qualitative data that a pathologist and surgeon would find meaningful in reducing diagnostic error. This program provides a breakdown of where patient injuries occur involving pathologists and surgeons and how collaboration between the two disciplines can improve patient outcomes.

Course ID #: TDE 210932.0 Issue Date: 8/19/2021 Expiration Date: 8/19/2024


After completing this activity, learners will be able to:

  • Identify the difference between a low-risk curbside consultation and a high-risk curbside consultation.
  • Break down the major patient injuries alleged in claims or lawsuits filed against pathology physicians.
  • Differentiate between a medically motivated request for a specimen and a legally motivated request.
  • Implement one or more strategies as a pathologist to improve communication with a surgical team.


No individual in a position to control or influence the content of this activity has reported relevant financial relationships with commercial interests. No commercial support was provided for this activity.


The information and guidelines contained in this activity are generalized and may not apply to all practice situations. We recommend that legal advice be obtained from a qualified attorney for specific application to your practice. The information is intended for educational purposes and should be used as a reference guide only.

Course Developers

Michelle Swift, RN, JD, CPHRM, CPPS, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company

Michael P. Collins, MD, FACS, Board Certified Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon, Chief, Division of General Thoracic Surgery, Thoracic Surgery Oncology, Intermountain Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT. Clinical Professorship at the University of Utah, School of Medicine.

Johanna Lackner, MPH, MSW, Senior Director, Continuing Professional Development, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company

Continuing Education Credit

The Doctors Company is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical educational activities for physicians.

The Doctors Company designates this activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Complies with State Requirements

Please SEE the Federation of State Medical Boards overview of Continuing Medical Education requirements by State. 

Technical Requirements

The activity is best experienced using the most current browser: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. Internet Explorer is not supported on this platform. All activities featuring audio must have a speaker. To view graphic images and references that appear in separate "pop-up" windows, JavaScript and session cookies must be enabled on your computer. Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required for certain activities.

Contact Us

If you have questions, contact or call 800.421.2368.


Visit our Resource document for this program.