Medical arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution wherein a dispute between a doctor and his or her patient is settled by a third party that is neither judge nor jury but acts in the same capacity. An arbitrator or arbitral tribunal is the third party which resolves a disputed by handing out a judgment or decision, referred to as an award, as much as a judge or jury does. However, arbitration is not the same as a court trial as much as it acts as a scaled version of one.
Medical arbitration is often done in cases of malpractice or other suits in order for a doctor to avoid the case going to court. This type of arbitration is a binding arbitration, which means that once the resolution has been reached, all parties must abide by it. A case for each party is presented by arbitration lawyers to an arbitral tribunal or an arbitrator for evaluation and judgment. Like a court trial, evidence is presented alongside testimonies in order to prove the claim of each disputing party. The arbitrator or tribunal acts like a judge in that he or she must hear all the necessary and relevant information presented by all involved parties before passing a decision that may or may not be legally binding depending on the terms of arbitration to which both parties agreed to.
It is said that medical arbitration can either favor a patient or a doctor, depending on the extent of the information that can be revealed since medical arbitration cases cannot enter public record.