From the blog of medical expert witness Dr. Barry E. Gustin, MD, MPH, FAAEP:
Locality Rules and Qualifying Medical Experts
When it became clear by the 1980’s that hospitals were being built in rural areas, that demographic trends indicated sufficient medical staffing in rural areas, that mass communication and mass transit eliminated the disadvantages of isolation, that all U.S. physicians were held to the national standard for their respective specialty, then the original rationale for the locality and state rules had disappeared, and the courts began to rely on national standards for each given specialty.
Today, all physicians (except those in Tennessee where state locality rules still exist) are required to demonstrate the same degree of care, skill, knowledge, and training that would be expected of other members of that specialty at a national level. Unfortunately, it is still all too common to see a motion during a medical malpractice action that seeks to invoke the locality rule as a way to disqualify a medical expert’s testimony. Fortunately, most courts do not accept this ploy as it has no relevance to medical practice today.