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Ostensible agency: another malpractice hazard
Am J Psychiatry 1988;145:510-512.
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Under the tort doctrine of ostensible (apparent) agency, a psychiatrist was named as a codefendant in a psychiatric malpractice suit against a nonmedical psychotherapist employed in his medical group, who had treated the plaintiff in her private practice in the same offices. The psychiatrist was later dismissed as a defendant, but to avoid being sued in such a case, a psychiatrist contemplating an association with another professional should 1) check the professional's record with the appropriate licensing agency, 2) require proof of licensure and malpractice insurance, 3) require that the professional's private patients sign disclosure statements, and 4) assure that names on written materials are kept separate.

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