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Forensic physician

Forensic medicine is a sub-specialty of the medical profession, which focuses on how medicine interacts with the law. This may involve the collection of medical evidence from victims and perpetrators of crime, the interpretation of evidence, and communication of the findings with police, legal officers and the courts. The scope of practice includes injury interpretation, clinical toxicology, traffic medicine, custodial medicine, and coronial investigations.

Qualifications

A Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery or Doctor of Medicine is required for all medical officer positions.

A career in forensic medicine requires several years’ experience working in acute areas of medicine such as emergency and intensive care.

To become a forensic physician, a doctor must complete a Master’s degree in forensic medicine. Trainees who are prepared to enrol in the Master's degree may also be considered for forensic physician positions.

Forensic physicians must be a Fellow of the Australasian College of Legal Medicine or the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.

Opportunities

Forensic physicians can be found at the Clinical Forensic Medicine Unit and within hospitals across Queensland Health.

Job vacancies are advertised on the Smart Jobs website.

Duties

  • Attending victims of crime for the purpose of forensic examinations
  • Attending alleged perpetrators of crime for the purpose of forensic examinations
  • Providing medical advice to police, the Coroner, and the Office of the Department of Public Prosecutions
  • Giving evidence in court on clinical forensic medicine matters
  • Providing clinical support for police detainees

Pay and conditions

At Queensland Health, the Medical Officers Award applies to forensic medical officers.

You can view the wage rates and allowances for medical officers.

Where can I find out more?

Last updated: 25 August 2021