Medical Malpractice Liability

The University obtains its medical malpractice (a.k.a. medical professional liability or MPL) insurance coverage from the Controlled Risk Insurance Company of Vermont (CRICO), a captive insurance company partially owned by PFHC.  The program provides claims-made coverage for all professional services of a medical nature performed by physicians, dentists, allied health professionals (technicians, assistants, technologists), nurses (RNs, LPNs), advanced practice clinicians (NPs, PA, CRNAs, CNMs), psychologists, psychiatrists, pastoral counselors, licensed social workers, massage therapists, acupuncturists, athletic trainers, volunteers, employees, and students.  Residents, including dental residents, interns, research assistants, and fellows are also covered under the CRICO MPL program.  Though the coverage is primarily intended for the operations of Harvard's Medical School, School of Dental Medicine, School of Public Health, and University Health Services, the program applies equally to President and Fellow of Harvard College, as the parent organization, and other clinical activities conducted by and as part of the academic curricula for students in any other school or department.  Coverage applies anywhere in the world provided that the suit for damages is brought in the United States, Canada, or a US territory.  To be eligible for coverage under Harvard's MPL insurance, staff physicians must have a full Massachusetts medical license; Residents and Fellows must have at least a limited Massachusetts medical license; Students must be matriculated at the one of the University's schools.  As a recognized student organization, the program also extends MPL coverage for medical treatment activities of the CrimsonEMS group.

Clinical Internships and Externships

Coverage under Harvard's MPL program also extends to clinical work involving students, typically arranged as part of a formal internship or externship between their School and an outside host hospital. When negotiating terms for medical internships (non-Harvard students training within a University operated / affiliated clinic or health care facility) or externships (Harvard students training at a non-University affiliated clinic or health care facility), Harvard generally follows the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) convention that necessitates the medical school program from which the students come carries the MPL insurance for its students being sent away for training.  Similarly, the host clinic or facility is expected to carry its own MPL insurance for its respective staff, employees, partners, students, and agents who might participate in the training.  Consequently, Harvard students participating in a practicum or training assignment at a non-Harvard clinical setting would be insured under the University's MPL insurance program during that assignment.

Indemnification - consistent with the above guidance on insurance coverage terms, recommended practice is that each participating organization will indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the other from expenses, losses, and reasonable attorney's fees to the extent arising from the negligent act or omission of the indemnifying party or any of its staff, employees, partners, students, or agents except that neither party would be liable to the other for indirect, special, or consequential damages resulting from undertaking its obligations associated with the internship or externship.

For information on insurance applicable to non-clinical or internships of a non-medical nature, visit our webpage Undergraduate and Graduate Internships.