Clinical forensic medicine

Clinical forensic medicine has evolved into an increasingly specialised area within the wider field of forensic medical practice.  Clinical forensic medicine encompasses a wide range of activities at the interface of medical practice and the law.  The range of medico-legal services overlap many other medical specialty areas; paediatrics, gynaecology, clinical toxicology, emergency medicine, psychiatry, dentistry and forensic pathology.  However, the discipline of clinical forensic medicine has become the home of the special issues inherent in child and adult sexual/physical assault, traffic medicine and custodial medicine.  The above services are provided by clinicians working either exclusively in the field of clinical forensic medicine, or in the other medical specialties including general practice. Increasingly, the courts (and other ‘users’ of clinical forensic expertise) scrutinise the knowledge and background of practitioners providing expert reports, and have a rising expectation practitioners possessing formal qualifications in this field.