Juries Respect Advance Practice Providers Even When They Don't Understand Their Roles

As more patients entrust their healthcare to APPs, the public tends to view these practitioners in a positive light, which carries over into the jury box. “In general, APPs are well respected, and juries hold these providers and their recommendations in high esteem,” Hunter says. “But jury members typically do not know or understand the difference between different APP credentials, or the different levels of supervision required for different types of APPs.”

That speaks to a need for more public education around the roles and responsibilities carried out by different APPs like nurse practitioners and physician assistants, Hunter notes. “Even with so many APPs caring for patients today, there’s still confusion in the public about their roles and responsibilities, “ she says. “In a jury trial, we engage in deliberate education with juries, because we can’t assume that all members will understand the differences.” 

Sources: Andrea Hunter, PhD, senior consultant and partner, Mind Matters Jury Consulting (based in Seattle, Washington)