Forensic Physiotherapy – A Proposed Model
Traditionally physiotherapists have been reluctant to make themselves available to perform Independent Clinical Assessments, write medico-legal reports and give evidence as expert witnesses at court.
With an increasing focus on evidence based practice within the profession, physiotherapists are critically reviewing their knowledge and experience in areas such as physical and functional capacity for work and the performance of activities of daily living and diagnosis.
In musculoskeletal disorders misdiagnosis in work related injury is not uncommon. This is likely to result in inappropriate treatment and poor outcome of treatment and return to work processes.
This presentation proposes a model, based on the principles of evidence based practice for physiotherapists interested in rigorous forensic exploration of factors involved in work injury to assist in efficient return to pre-injury job, differential diagnosis and effective recovery from work related injury.
Current Issues with Contractors in Health Practice: Contractors or Employees and Restraint
With the preponderance of Health practitioners’ engagement presently as independent contractors as opposed to employees in the private sector, there is great uncertainty about the characterisation of these engagements. Secondly the issue of restraints for employees as opposed to vendors continues to cause problems particularly for junior practitioners. The present law and the practicalities will be reviewed.
Master of Legal Medicine
As I have stated previously, the College aims to achieve specialist recognition for its Fellows, now obtained by Ministerial Council approval following a submission to the Ministerial Council by the relevant National Board. I consider a tertiary degree in the form of a Master of Legal Medicine (MLM) to be integral in attaining specialist recognition.
While most medical Colleges do not appear to involve tertiary institutions in their specialty training, an appropriately structured post-graduate tertiary qualification is an important component of training specialists in legal medicine, particularly as a major component is knowledge of the law as it pertains to clinical practice and the provision of evidence.
It is envisaged that a revamped MLM program will be based on what the College is currently offering with its short courses (BLI, ALI and EW courses) but with greater scope and variety, more formalised training and appropriate accreditation of the training undertaken.
As I recently advised the September 2015 annual general meeting in Queenstown, it is proposed that the College would be responsible for both the financial and administrative conduct of the MLM program and if feasible, provide legally trained medical teaching staff. It would seek accreditation through a University and remunerate the University for the fees associated with formal accreditation.
This article provides suggestions to assist paediatricians in the role of ‘expert witness’ and emphasises their duty to the court when giving expert opinion.
The aim of this paper is to review relevant research papers to aid practitioners involved in obstetric malpractice litigation.