Facing a legal claim or complaint is not easy. Although many suggest that a complaint of unprofessional conduct or an allegation of medical negligence should not be taken personally, most doctors regard it as a direct assault on their personal and professional integrity. Medico-legal matters can place practitioners and their families under a great deal of stress. Being caught up in a legal process over which you have little control and that you don’t understand can lead to a feeling of powerlessness and greater anxiety. This is backed by Australian research showing that having a current medico-legal matter is associated with psychiatric morbidity.  One suggested strategy to overcome this is for doctors to be educated about the medico-legal process and understand how the experience may affect their health, their work and their loved ones.  In this section we provide information about the legal process in areas in which we commonly assist our members.
- Nash L et al “Factors associated with psychiatric morbidity and hazardous alcohol use in Australian doctors” 2010 MJA 193 (3); 161-166 at 164
- ibid: page 165