Are you a medical practitioner who has heard about medico legal specialists and would like to become one? If so, then this article will outline all you need to know about this career.
What is a Medico-Legal Adviser (MLA)
A medico legal specialist is an individual who connects a doctor and the legal process. He or she handles a wide variety of files and documents ranging from claims, criminal investigations, inquests, regulatory issues, and complaints, to general advice.
An MLA liaises with the doctors involved in project managing cases, and also instructs barristers and solicitors where necessary, while overseeing the running of the case.
Professional background and reason to become an MLA
You should be a trained and already practicing general practitioner if you want to be an MLA. Apart from that, you should also have an interest in medical law. You should be interested in solving the issues faced by patients that had to involve the law, and also taking care of the pressures and challenges that doctors and other medical professionals face while practicing modern medicine.
Becoming an MLA
Becoming an MLA is not easy. The learning curve is steep and requires that you study a lot. After enrolling for an MLA program, you will have to complete a masters degree in medical law and ethics. Afterwards, you have to sit and pass the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine’s membership exams. Both the masters degree and membership exams require a lot of work and dedication.
One thing you need to understand about medical law is that it is always changing similar to medicine. This means that you have to ensure that you are always up to date when it comes to knowledge. For this reason, you will have to find ways to stay informed about policy changes and guidance updates in the field.
Details about the role
Working as an MLA and as a medical doctor has so many things in common, but with the former, it means that you will spend most of your time providing expert advice to doctors rather than patients who you were used to when you were just a general practitioner. No two cases are entirely the same, therefore, you will need to go through a process that involves looking through the history of that case, examining the case, investigating it, performing a diagnosis, and coming up with a remedy.
In this new career path, you will have to use your knowledge of patients, medicine, and the healthcare system to come up with the best solutions for the cases at hand. One thing to remember is that every case is different from the other.