New Resources - Supplemental Learning: Medical Legal Issues


Medical-Legal Resources 


Section Contributor: Melissa Klein, MD, Med 




  1. The New Social History: Screening for the Social Determinants of Health  

References in this section focus on communication with patients and families from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.   


  1. Chén Kenyon, Megan Sandel, Michael Silverstein, Alefiya Shakir and Barry Zuckerman. Revisiting the Social History for Child Health. Pediatrics 2007; 120; e734. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2006-2495 


This article describes the importance of obtaining a complete social history with its link to health and an introduction to the IHELLP mnemonic to guide social history acquisition. (ICS 1) 


  1. Rationale for Establishment of Medical Legal Partnerships and Associated Outcomes 

References in this section focus on medical legal partnerships as one potential intervention to remedy the social issues that affect many families from underserved communities.  


  1. Barry Zuckerman, Megan Sandel, Ellen Lawton and Samantha MortonMedical-legal partnerships: transforming health care The Lancet 2008; Volume 372, Issue 9650, Pages 1615  1617doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61670-0 


This article describes the rationale for adding lawyers to the health care team and information on Medical-Legal Partnerships. (PROF 1, 2, SBP 2.3) 


  1. Beck AF, Klein MD, Schaffzin JK, Tallent V, Gillam M, Kahn RS. Identifying and Treating a Substandard Housing Cluster Using a Medical-Legal Partnership Pediatrics. Pediatrics 2012 Nov; 130 (5):831-8. doi: 10.1542/peds.2012-0769 


This article describes identification of a cluster of poor housing and how the collaborative efforts of physicians and lawyers improved home environmental conditions. (PROF 1, 2, SBP 2.3) 


  1. Outcomes of Education Regarding the Social Determinants of Health 

References in this section focus on the impact of education in caring for families from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.   


  1. Klein MD, Kahn RS, Baker RC, Fink EE, Parrish DS, White DC . Training in social determinants of health in primary care: does it change resident behavior? Academic Pediatrics 2011 Sep-Oct;11(5):387-93. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2011.04.004 


This study assessed the effects of a new social determinants of health curriculum that focused on social needs with legal issues and was intentionally introduced to correspond with the launch of an on-site medical legal partnership.  This educational intervention increased interns' documentation of social questions as well as their comfort and knowledge of social determinants of health and community resources. C 


  1. O'Toole JK, Solan LG, Burkhardt MC, Klein MD. Watch and Learn: An Innovative Video Trigger Curriculum to Increase Resident Screening for Social Determinants of Health. Clinical Pediatrics 2013 Apr; 52(4):344-50. doi: 10.1177/0009922813475702 


This article investigated the effects of a video simulation conference on resident screening for the social determinants of health, many of which have legal remedies. The authors found that a brief 1 hour conference was associated with increased time spent screening, inquired more frequently about family supports and housing conditions and were less likely to note lack of knowledge and discomfort as barriers to screening.  The article also presents a direct observation tool used in the study that focuses on assessing a variety of SDH commonly encountered in a primary care setting. (PROF 1, 2, SBP 2.3) 


  1. Medical Liability and Risk Management 

References in this section focus on medical liability and risk management.  



  1. Professional Liability Insurance and Medicolegal Education for Pediatric Residents and Fellows; Pediatrics 2011 128:624-629; doi:10.1542/peds.2011-1025  

  1. Consent by Proxy for Nonurgent Pediatric Care; Pediatrics 2010 126:1022-1031; doi:10.1542/peds.2010-2150 

  1. Expert Witness Participation in Civil and Criminal Proceedings;                                                                            Pediatrics 2009 124:428-438; doi:10.1542/peds.2009-1132 

  1. The Pediatrician and Disaster Preparedness; Pediatrics 2006 117:560-565; doi:10.1542/peds.2005-2751 

  1. Dealing With the Parent Whose Judgment Is Impaired by Alcohol or Drugs: Legal and Ethical Considerations; Pediatrics 2004 114:869-873; doi:10.1542/peds.2004-1234