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.
"It's intellectually stimulating and satisfying to analyse a particular case and come to a consensus with half a dozen different people seeing the person from different perspectives." Dr Diane Neill – Psychiatrist
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.
"It's an opportunity to work alongside really good people and I love that." Dr Caroline Hall – General Practitioner
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.
"The work is intellectually very interesting." Dr Andrea Bendrups, Rheumatologist
Structure of the organisation
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
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.
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.
"Balancing Medical Panels with other commitments is easy because you can choose your preferred days and times and how often you'd like to be part of a panel." Dr Diane Neill – Psychiatrist
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.
The next recruitment cycle, open to all medical practitioners from all fields of medicine, will commence in March 2022, for appointment to the List for a period of three years from January 2023.
Reviewed 19 February 2021