Griffin v. State Medical Board of Ohio (Nov. 22, 2011), Tenth Dist. No. 11AP-174
Expert testimony based upon expert’s own experience and review of records is reliable even if opinions are based in part on inquiries with other professionals as to their practices.
Physician’s license was suspended due to violations of the minimum standard of care relating to the prescribing of controlled substances. On appeal, the physician asserted that the State’s expert opinion did not constitute reliable, probative, and substantial evidence because it was not based upon reliable scientific methodology. The state’s expert had testified that there is no established maximum dosage level for many narcotic medications, and that the standard of care required physicians to prescribe the level of medication that keeps the patient’s pain under control and allows the patient to function without side effects. The State’s expert nonetheless testified that Dr. Griffin’s prescribing did not meet the minimum standard of care. Due to the absence of set maximums, the expert testified that he made inquiries with several other physicians regarding the maximum dosages that they would prescribe, and Dr. Griffin objected that this evidence was anecdotal rather than scientifically based. The court found that the expert’s testimony was nonetheless reliable, because he also based his opinions on his review of Dr. Griffin’s records, and his own experience prescribing pain medications.