Team Physicians: Mitigating Liability Risks (The Doctor's Advocate CME)


Physicians serving as volunteer team physicians for high school or other community sports programs are often unaware of potential liability risks. A physician-patient relationship may be established by performing a preparticipation physical exam, during sideline diagnosis or treatment of a sports injury, or when providing medical clearance for return to play after an injury. In the CME program, Michael Koester, MD, highlights considerations for volunteer team physicians and strategies to reduce liability risks.

Course ID #: TDE 231421.0 Issue Date: 11/27/2023 Expiration Date: 11/27/2026


After completing this activity, learners will be able to:

  • Review state requirements for evaluation, management, and return-to-play protocols for specific types of conditions or injuries (e.g., concussion, cardiac conditions).
  • Implement one measure in my practice to improve my system for facilitating further follow-up (e.g., labs, tests, specialists, primary care provider) when recommended during my preparticipation examination or as part of after-injury care or clearance.
  • Examine informed consent forms for preparticipation physical exams and sideline treatment to ensure they define the nature and scope of the relationship.

Course Developers

Julie Brightwell, BSN, JD, RN, CPHRM, CPPS, Director, Healthcare Systems Patient Safety, The Doctors Company                                                                                                        
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 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

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.

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, Internet Explorer, or Microsoft Edge. 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.