Baker v. University Physicians Healthcare
In Baker v. University Physicians Healthcare, 228 Ariz. 587,7-8, 13, 269 P.3d 1211, 1214-15 (App. 2012) the Court determined the legislature intended the term "specialty," as used in 12-2604(A)(1), to refer to the twenty-four specialty boards established by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), and did not include subspecialties.
The Court also concluded the legislature chose "to base a testifying expert's qualifications . . . on the training and certification of the specialist." Id.10.
By doing so and using the ABMS boards, the legislature gave litigants an objective and verifiable standard to determine before filing an action what qualifications an expert must have in order to testify.
Thus, the Court concluded an expert who was board certified in the ABMS specialty of internal medicine, with a subspecialty in hematology, did not qualify under 12-2604(A)(1) to testify against the defendant, who was board certified in the ABMS specialty of pediatrics with a subspecialty in pediatric hematology. Id.11-12. And the Court noted that we did not "decide if or in what way 12-2604 applies when a defendant specialist is acting outside of his or her specialty." Id. n.2.