Career focus - Combining medicine and law
Doctors and lawyers come from two very different traditions. Wai-Ching Leung considers the possibilities for crossover between the two career paths
- By: Wai-Ching Leung
The need for knowledge of both medicine and the law features prominently in many jobs, and it is not surprising that many doctors find law interesting and have seriously considered a career relating to it. Medicine and the law remain distinct professions: on one hand, there are various medical careers for which knowledge and experience of the law are valuable or even essential (see box). On the other hand, there are legal careers for which knowledge of aspects of medicine may be desirable. These careers are exclusively for lawyers, and a medical qualification, though valuable, is not essential. Training is provided by lawyers and follows a similar course to that of other legal careers - academic and vocational stage of legal training, barrister pupillage or solicitor articleship, and specialisation in medical law.
Very few careers are truly open to both lawyers and doctors. Before you decide to get qualified in