Pain Medicine Consultant Profile: Medico-legal work
Dr Hacking is a Pain Medicine consultant, a former RAPM, and is based Lancashire.
I was a young SHO in A+E when one of the consultants kindly told me that there was money to be made, writing medical reports, and gave me a textbook on the subject. After leaving A+E, the legal world seemed very little interested in my opinion until I became a consultant and then I found that I was in demand again. The financial rewards can be substantial but the work is hard and one has to be prepared to be meticulous and thorough. It is very different to clinical medicine and, I find, quite fascinating in many aspects. A useful side effect of medico-legal practice is that one has to build up a body of up-to-date reference material.
When I started doing this sort of work there was very little guidance or training. Today there are excellent courses and conferences: I'd strongly recommend anyone contemplating medico-legal practice to attend one of these and speak to some of the more experienced people who can, at least, warn you of the schoolboy errors and common pitfalls.