James M. Wheeler, MD, MPH, JD, magna cum laude in Biology / Psychology from Harvard, is an OB/GYN trained at Baylor, with subspecialty training in Reproductive Endocrinology / Infertility at Yale. He is also a graduate of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Yale, focusing upon clinical epidemiology and biostatistics and health policy. He also earned his MPH at Yale majoring in Biostatistics, minoring in Maternal/Child Health. He graduated from the University of Houston Law Center with a JD in 2005, and was invited to join the Health Law division there. He has completed ADR training, having completed training programs separately in mediation, and arbitration.
Dr. Wheeler is a former national officer of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and served on several of their health policy committees including the Health Care Commission and the Hysterectomy Committee. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed papers on a wide array of topics in ob/gyn, with a particular emphasis on methodology. He has given over 200 invited lectures to ob/gyns, reproductive endocrinologists, radiologists, midwives, nurses, surgical technologists, law students et al. He sees himself first and foremost as a caregiver, and second to only that, as a teacher.
Dr. Wheeler has consulted in several hundred medicolegal matters for over 20 years, mostly in ob/gyn, but including family practice, internal medicine and several of its subspecialties, general surgery and several of its subspecialties, and dermatology. He has been a testifying expert before the FDA for drugs and devices, and has testified before U.S. Congressional staffers on health policy issues. He reviews for attorneys from both plaintiff and defense bars, as well as insurance companies (e.g. Pro-Assurance), and health plans (e.g. Harvard Community Health Plan). He has helped with Board of Medicine reviews, and constructing/defending class action suits. The combination of his training in medicine, basic and clinical research, clinical epidemiology, biostatistics and law make him a uniquely qualified person to review the complex issues of medicolegal cases.
Dr. Wheeler is a qualified first-reviewer, and a convincing expert during testimony. He has never been excused from a case as insufficiently expert.
A malpractice action requires the plaintiff to prove: (1) the defendant caregiver owed a duty of care to the plaintiff-patient, (2) the caregiver departed from that standard of care, and (3) that departure from the standard of care actually caused the injury claimed by the plaintiff. "Causation" 11; often the critical component in a malpractice action because the presence of a duty is often obvious, except perhaps in "Good Samaritan" cases, but the statutorily-required expert witnesses will argue about whether the caregiver departed from some standard of care. Because defining "causation" is difficult, there are interesting distinctions in legal versus medical, sociological, or philosophical concepts of cause-and-effect. Applying this difficult concept of "causation" to the very complex world of labor and delivery (L&D) does indeed beg the question, just how can causation be established?