12-2604. Expert witness qualifications; medical malpractice actions

A. In an action alleging medical malpractice, a person shall not give expert testimony on the appropriate standard of practice or care unless the person is licensed as a health professional in this state or another state and the person meets the following criteria:

1. If the party against whom or on whose behalf the testimony is offered is or claims to be a specialist, specializes at the time of the occurrence that is the basis for the action in the same specialty or claimed specialty as the party against whom or on whose behalf the testimony is offered. If the party against whom or on whose behalf the testimony is offered is or claims to be a specialist who is board certified, the expert witness shall be a specialist who is board certified in that specialty or claimed specialty.

2. During the year immediately preceding the occurrence giving rise to the lawsuit, devoted a majority of the person's professional time to either or both of the following:

(a) The active clinical practice of the same health profession as the defendant and, if the defendant is or claims to be a specialist, in the same specialty or claimed specialty.

(b) The instruction of students in an accredited health professional school or accredited residency or clinical research program in the same health profession as the defendant and, if the defendant is or claims to be a specialist, in an accredited health professional school or accredited residency or clinical research program in the same specialty or claimed specialty.

3. If the defendant is a general practitioner, the witness has devoted a majority of the witness's professional time in the year preceding the occurrence giving rise to the lawsuit to either or both of the following:

(a) Active clinical practice as a general practitioner.

(b) Instruction of students in an accredited health professional school or accredited residency or clinical research program in the same health profession as the defendant.

B. If the defendant is a health care institution that employs a health professional against whom or on whose behalf the testimony is offered, the provisions of subsection A apply as if the health professional were the party or defendant against whom or on whose behalf the testimony is offered.

C. This section does not limit the power of the trial court to disqualify an expert witness on grounds other than the qualifications set forth under this section.

D. An expert witness in a medical malpractice case shall not be permitted to testify if the fee of the witness is in any way contingent on the outcome of the case.