Foundation/SHO level – a good place to start if you have less than 5 years of clinical experience is to look for a job within the medical law team of your local NHS Trust, for example as an investigation and claims manager. This does not require a medical degree, so it is an option for any medical degree; However, this also means that if you wish to keep your GMC recording, it is your responsibility to arrange it. The salary is usually about the same as what you expect at the start of Year 1 basic or specialty training, and you can continue to contribute to your existing NHS pension if you wish to transfer it. Vacancies are usually listed on the NHS Jobs website, but if the right candidate is not found, the job will not necessarily appear online. So, if there are currently no vacancies, be bold and contact the department head via the hospital`s switchboard. Explain your interest, ask if you can email them a resume, and consider requesting an informal meeting to get a feel for the role. In the case of bodily injury such as traffic accidents, liability is usually a matter of course. The causal relationship between the incident, the client`s complaints, and the likely « but for » prognosis is the domain of the medical expert. The situation is quite different in cases of alleged medical malpractice, where the interpretation of factual evidence of liability and causation may not be as obvious and relies almost exclusively on the opinion of a medical expert. This is why initial screening by an appropriate professional is so important in determining whether a case is likely or unlikely before the plaintiff and legal counsel are invested financially and emotionally in the outcome.
Be sure to consider outsourcing your transcription to a company that specializes in GDPR-compliant transcription (like WeType), as this requires mixed medical and legal skills. Since 1983, he has been an expert witness in forensic reporting and court appearances and is a founding member of the Expert Witness Institute. It plays an increasing role in providing an independent opinion in cases of potential medical negligence. As in private practice, you need to be able to market what you do. It`s important to write a medico-legal resume and have a professionally created website (or a webpage on your current private practice`s website). Absolute. Whether you`re taking a break from clinical practice early in your career or need a new challenge after many years in your advisory role, you`ve gained a wealth of transferable skills that will serve you well in this field. Physicians` ability to learn quickly, work in ever-changing teams, and effectively manage extremely stressful crisis situations is often considered commonplace in medicine – in fact, these are in-demand skills that contribute to high professional resilience. In the forensic field, your clinical knowledge will be invaluable, whether you are preparing an expert opinion or interpreting large amounts of complex medical information, and you should NEVER underestimate the usefulness of your translation skills when it comes to deciphering handwritten documents! You are likely to show real empathy when dealing with counselling calls or managing witnesses and families because you know the real pressures and problems of the health care system. Finally, the outcomes of legal processes can bring about truly positive change within trusts and the NHS as a whole, improving patient care and providing a high level of job satisfaction for many stakeholders.
In recent decades, greater professionalism has been demanded of those working as medical experts, not only in terms of knowledge of medical practice, but also in the legal process itself. The need for an objective and impartial opinion is one of the reasons why a physician who has treated the client is unlikely to be considered a truly independent expert. The Supreme Court has cautioned police against arresting or harassing doctors unless the facts clearly meet the parameters established in the Jacob Mathew case. The police were even threatened that if they did not comply with these orders, they would have to count themselves in legal action. The Supreme Court continued: « To sue a physician for negligence, it must be proved that the defendant did or omitted to do something that no physician in his usual sense and prudence would have done or omitted to do in the given facts and circumstances. The danger that the accused physician accepts should be such that the resulting injury was most likely imminent.  The Supreme Court has sought to allay fears that prevent health care professionals from fulfilling their duty to a person who is suffering. The practice of medicine is able to render a great service to society, provided that doctors observe care, sincerity, efficiency and competence. The cordial relationship between doctor and patient was radically altered by the corporatization of the medical profession, which led to the commercialization of the aristocratic profession, very contrary to the letter and spirit of the Hippocratic Oath.
While rapid advances in medical science and technology have proven to be effective tools for physicians to better diagnose and treat patients, they have also become tools for commercial use for patients. Medical law is undergoing massive changes. The development of the law on professional misconduct and negligence is far from satisfactory. The legislation is insufficient and does not cover the whole area of medical negligence. Medical negligence lawsuits can be minimized or avoided by taking steps to please patients, adhere to policies and procedures, develop patient-centered care, and know ways to defend against malpractice. Along with global professional liability, insurance is a necessity in today`s contested society. Following clinical guidelines is an effective way to improve the quality of care and reduce differences in care. Clinical guidelines have been systematically developed nationally and globally to support clinical decision-making (evidence-based practice). In medical negligence claims and in court, these guidelines can be used as a source of information, provided they are the product of a recognized organization and are considered reliable.  They can be considered prescriptive standards and are used as explicit standards of care at the time of the clinical reference event as well as to assess the extent to which a questionable practice met accepted standards.  The demand for clinicians involved in legal work is increasing.
In this session, we will look at what forensic practice actually entails, as well as the professional rewards and achievements that work can bring. Most forensic clinicians will establish relationships with lawyers or medical placement agencies. If you work clinically in a private practice, the existing GDPR documentation you have for your clinical work is not sufficient to cover your forensic work. That`s because you use data in a different way and everything needs to be documented, which means new documentation that describes the different data flows, how you use the data, and how you store it. Adverse outcomes occur in health care, regardless of the intent and quality of care provided. Patients may suffer harm or receive inadequate treatment or be dissatisfied, leading them to seek redress through medico-legal proceedings against the doctor. In Australia, there are formal complaint resolution mechanisms in all Australian states and territories, and a complaint to one of these complaints bodies is common. Patients are also seeking damages for medical negligence. A minority of patients seek compensation if no illegal treatment has taken place or if there is no reason to complain. Poor outcomes cause stress for everyone involved, not only the patient and family, but also the doctor and the doctor`s family. The medico-legal processes of complaints, claims and inquiries that may ensue can be stressful for the physician, regardless of the cause or outcome. This chapter examines the impact of the medico-legal process on the physician`s health and well-being and the impact on the physician`s medical practice, including how they interact with patients.
If the attending physician does not document that something happened, it is difficult to prove that it happened. An accurate and complete account can help understand what happened to the patient. In addition, it will help answer due diligence questions if a filing is called months or years after an event. You cannot rely on their memory when it comes to the facts. Regardless of the system used, the purpose of documentation from a legal perspective is always to accurately and comprehensively record patient care and response to that care. Documentation has legal credibility if it is timely, accurate, truthful and appropriate.  Whether or not GMC registration is maintained, there is a wide range of opportunities for physicians performing forensic work. This could include working as part of an NHS trust, an NHS specialist body, a regulatory or safety and quality organisation, or within academia.
Alternatively, there are many opportunities to become self-employed or develop a portfolio career. If you`re thinking about getting into forensic work, or need advice on how to promote your medical legal practice, why not book a Zoom Ninja Power Hour call? It`s an hour of private lessons with me and a brilliant Kickstarter. Keep in mind that forensic work is subject to VAT, which may mean you`re considering starting a separate business for your forensic work – and again, all of this needs to be reflected in your GDPR documentation.