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Working at Avant as a Medical Adviser

19 May 2021 | Dr Peter Henderson, MBChB, FRCOG, FRANZCOG, Deputy Chief Medical Officer and General Manager, Medical Advisory Services, Avant

Avant employs medical practitioners in various roles, including medical advisers, claims managers, risk advisers and in our Advocacy, Education and Research team. They work at various levels of the organisation, including at executive and general manager level. Having doctors in these roles is important to bring a member perspective to matters and to the management of Avant.

The work is very rewarding and important for the profession and to the community. Providing member support through the stressful event of being involved in a complaint or claim is a satisfying element of the role. Members often comment about the reassurance they feel after speaking with a peer who genuinely understands their perspective.

The medical advisers are part of a team assisting our members with medico-legal matters. They are an important bridge between the member and the claims manager and solicitor, who may not have the specialist medical knowledge of a clinical situation. The medical adviser is well placed to speak both medical and legal languages.

The medical advisory team includes a mix of specialities to enable clinical issues to be identified in claims or complaints. The medical adviser suggests the type of expert opinion needed, and helps to develop the relevant questions to put to the expert. They can take time to get to know the member and research any relevant issues thoroughly, which makes the work especially satisfying and helps to improve the outcome for the member.

Medical advisers assist members prepare for performance assessments, Professional Services Reviews and medical tribunal hearings. They also contribute to the medico-legal advice service that takes more than 28,000 calls annually.

Avant reviews the progress of each claim on a regular basis at committees made up of experienced lawyers, claims managers and executive members, who will hold the ultimate responsibility for decision making. Medical advisers assist these committees by presenting claims for consideration and contributing to the development of the best strategy.

Most medical advisers work part time as they are encouraged to continue medical work, so they are best placed to comment on current medical practice. This best places them to advise the broader Avant business regarding policy and advocacy for the profession.

I have worked at Avant since 2004 as a claims manager, medical adviser and now general manager. I have valued every day as an opportunity to give back to the profession and contribute to a great company dedicated to the service of our members and through them, to the community.

Avant is looking for a part-time Medical Adviser/Claims Manager in Melbourne to support members. Find out more about this rewarding role.

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