Why work at Medical Panels?
Medical Panels provides an exciting opportunity to develop new skills and enhance capabilities in a collaborative and intellectually challenging environment, while making an active contribution to the community.
"Medical Panels is one of the very few opportunities we have to work simultaneously alongside highly-respected colleagues of other specialities. Watching other clinicians take a detailed history, and examine specifically from their own specialty point-of-view is enlightening. I learn something new every time I am there." A/Prof Andrew Hardidge - Orthopaedic Surgeon
Medical Panels' work is sessional and provides a unique flexibility to schedule appointments and complete assessments around practitioner availability through face-to-face and online methodologies.
"The flexibility is fantastic." Dr Andrea Bendrups – Rheumatologist
Medical Panels provides an induction program, mentoring, ongoing education and professional networking opportunities with practitioners across a wide range of specialties. Specific impairment assessment training can be completed after appointment.
Engagement in Medical Panels provides an opportunity to create lasting relationships which endure beyond the term of a Panellist's appointment.
"Medical Panels has been an enriching experience. I started working at Medical Panels thinking that a lot of it would be about report-writing but in fact, what I have gained most is the ability to recognise the key issues in each hearing and sharpen my interviewing skills. Having superb mentors to guide me through this process has eased any initial trepidation about the unfamiliarity of the process." Dr Lyn-May Lim - Psychiatrist
What are Medical Panels?
Medical Panels are expert panels of medical practitioners drawn from a wide range of specialty areas, statutorily appointed to the List of Eligible Members (the List) by the Victorian Government. From the List, the Convenor of Medical Panels selects groups of practitioners to form Medical Panels to:
- conduct assessments and examinations
- comprehensively analyse the medical information
- apply the facts to medical questions relating to workers' compensation or other personal injury law and make final and binding decisions.
Medical Panels perform a different function to independent medical examiners or other medico-legal work. Individually convened Medical Panels function as independent tribunals. A Panellist is accorded the same protection and immunity as a judge of the Supreme Court in performance of his or her duties.
"I have worked regularly as a member of Panels since the inception of this process. I have found it very stimulating; working alongside and learning from respected colleagues from other areas of medicine has been one of the highlights. Interaction with the legal support team is always instructive and the staff supporting the function of Panels including Registry and Nurses have always been extremely friendly and helpful. Overall, I have found this to be a great professional activity, both enjoyable and educational." Prof Richard Stark - Neurologist
Structure of the organisation
There are currently 196 medical practitioners appointed as Panellists until either 30 June 2023 or 31 December 2025, led by a Convenor and three Deputy Convenors. View a full list of Panellists and their fields of expertise.
The Convenor, drawn from the List of Eligible Members, is appointed by the Minister for Workplace Safety. The current Convenor is Associate Prof Peter Gibbons.
The Deputy Convenors are similarly appointed. The current Deputy Convenors are Associate Prof David Ernest, Dr Sandra Hacker AO and Dr Judith Hammond.
In addition, specialist staff are employed to help with the administration and management of the operations of Medical Panels and to provide the Panellists with legal support and advice.
Panellists are drawn from a wide range of specialty areas of medicine. Eligibility requirements are set out in the selection criteria during the recruitment cycle and include:
- being a currently registered medical practitioner with a minimum of five years of specialty practice
- continuing education in the chosen specialty
- completion of (preferred) or enrolment in the approved training to conduct impairment assessments in accordance with the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (4th Edition) (see the AMA website for further .
- demonstrated ability to work harmoniously within multidisciplinary teams
- standard mandatory probity checks, including:
- Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check
- Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) National Personal Insolvency Index (NPII) check
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) banned or disqualified persons check.
All Panellists are expected to:
- interview claimants and workers respectfully
- work in a collegiate manner with other panellists
- be objective and remain independent
- avoid bias, and be aware of perceived bias and unconscious bias
- be rigorous and timely in answering medical questions
- uphold Public Service values of integrity, impartiality, accountability, respect, leadership and respect for human rights.
All Panellists are expected to:
- maintain professional development required in their field of expertise
- ensure the AMA4 training is completed in a timely manner (if not already completed)
- attend induction, mentoring and training programs
- alert the Convenor to any complaints lodged or conflicts of interest.
Training and legal knowledge
As a member of a Medical Panel, you will work with other members of the Panel to achieve a consensual opinion on the medical question. The Panel will consider questions such as:
- the nature of the condition, including the extent and likely medical outcome
- the level of impairment
- if employment significantly influenced the injury
- whether the treatment is appropriate.
The Panel may also be asked questions about the injured worker's or claimant's capacity for work, including:
- assessing work capacity
- evaluating whether an injury caused incapacity for work
- considering what other work the person could do.
Training and mentoring are available to Panellists on aspects of the law that may be unfamiliar. The legal team is there to support you.
The difference between Presiding Members and Panellists
Each individual Panel is led by a Presiding Member. The Presiding Member leads the Panel discussion and is responsible for:
- the efficient and timely running of the Panel
- helping the Panellists reach agreement on answers to the medical questions and ensuring the path of reasoning for those answers is clear
- writing up an Opinion and Reasons for the Opinion to be reviewed and approved by the other Panellists.
Eligible Panellists can be appointed as Presiding Members and all new Presiding Members are trained and mentored in this role.
The work at Medical Panels can fit into your existing commitments.
Appointment to individually convened Medical Panels is based on the operational needs and referral demands of Medical Panels.
Aside from the consultation appointments, you'll need additional time to read material to prepare for the Panel examination and work with your Medical Panel colleagues to develop and deliver the decision documents.
Benefits of appointment to the List
Being a Medical Panellist provides a number of unique benefits for medical practitioners:
- The work is intellectually and clinically stimulating.
- The work is undertaken in a collegial manner with a broad range of medical specialties.
- There is flexible and family-friendly scheduling available.
- Ongoing professional development is provided.
- The work is appropriately remunerated.
- Onsite parking is available at our La Trobe Street offices.
Recruitment for appointment to the List of Panel Members has now closed. The next recruitment cycle, open to all suitable medical practitioners from all fields of medicine, will commence in early 2025 for appointment to the List for a period of three years from January 2026.
Medical Panels is committed to ensuring an inclusive and diverse environment that recognises, respects and supports its workforce.
The Victorian Government is aiming for gender equity in all government bodies. Medical Panels is aligned with this government directive and to this end special measures* are in place for achieving substantive equality between men and women for appointments to the List of Panel Members.
For more information about working with Medical Panels, please contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Focusing recruitment to achieve a target of 50 per cent women on the List of Medical Panels Members aligns with special measures provisions outlined in Section 7 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) and Section 12 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic)
Reviewed 02 March 2023