I loved my long career in medicine, but I can honestly say that a medical consultant is the best job I`ve ever had. It is a true privilege not only to help dedicated professionals achieve the best possible outcome for the situation they find themselves in, but also to work with the profession to create a safer environment for patients. Forensic work is an attractive option for physicians who wish to diversify their practice, take a break from their career, or leave clinical medicine altogether. As the number of legal processes the NHS is involved in increases every year, this is a rapidly evolving and exciting field to work in. We explore all the pros and cons of a forensic career for physicians. Much depends on how the forensic advisor handles the case. The role is emotionally and intellectually demanding and requires a high degree of perseverance. A sense of humour is also invaluable – in the right place at the right time. Medical counsel form a team to support, represent and support physicians. It`s no surprise that doctors find the process of any type of exam extremely challenging, so we listen to their concerns, help them understand the situation they`re in, and support them throughout the time. As project managers, we must be well organized, patient and empathetic, while maintaining the objectivity necessary to provide what we believe is the best advice. First, be realistic about which roles are right for you, based on your clinical experience.
Some jobs do not require a medical degree, while others require at least 10 years of special exposure, and salary and workload vary accordingly. As an indication (and by no means exhaustive), the role of MLC is a position of significant responsibility and requires a dynamic person capable of managing a loaded, varied and challenging workload. Advanced communication skills are essential as you need to assess and answer complex questions, supervise colleagues, and lead a forensic defense team. Since 2006, I have been a forensic advisor to the Medical Protection Society. Prior to that, I was a specialist in anesthesia and critical care. I moved in response to a growing fascination with how the complexities of law and ethics were applied to my clinical practice as a consultant, and first graduated as a lawyer before joining the Medical Protective Society. 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.
SpR/Consultant/GP Level – If you have 5 years of post-qualification experience, you may consider working as a Forensic Advisor (MLA) with one of the defense organisations such as MPS, MDU or MDDUS. This can be done full-time or part-time alongside clinical commitments, and since this role requires GMC registration, the organization should help the organization organize your assessments and revalidations. To be considered, you will usually need a postgraduate legal qualification or experience in the forensic field. These businesses can include various benefits such as private health insurance, annuities, and gym memberships, and part-time work is also an option. Competing interests: I have read and understood the BMJ Group`s policy on expression of interest and declare the following interests: I am medical counsel to the Medical Protective Society. Comparisons to clinical practice illustrate some of the characteristics that make this role so fascinating and captivating: the physician now sits in the patient`s chair and seeks expert advice from the forensic advisor, who is back in the consultation room. Each case has its history, symptoms, diagnosis and, of course, its cure. 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. Whether GMC registration is maintained or not, there is a wide range of opportunities for physicians who perform 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. As clinicians, we know the responsibility to keep patients` lives in our hands. As forensic advisors, the careers of physicians are at stake. Depending on how a case evolves, it can also mean all aspects of a doctor`s life and well-being. Urgent legal or ethical situations may arise quickly and require prompt advice and possible escalation (e.g.
capacity and consent issues for life-saving procedures such as blood transfusions). The range of ethical issues involved may be of particular interest to people with medical training.