Standard of Care, The
The minimal level of competency, knowledge and judgment for which a physician can be held liable and legally accountable in tort law. The standard is determined by the reasonable diligence, skill, competence and prudence as practiced by minimally competent physicians in the same area of specialty or general field of practice, who have similar facilities, services, equipment and options available to them. The standard of care is generally established through the testimony of medical experts. Until recent times, the standard of care varied regionally, but now has been established in tort law on a more national basis. While it is a national standard, local custom still plays a limited role given the resources, facilities and options that are available.