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FPA5003 - Foundations of clinical forensic medicine

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: A/Prof David Wells


Clayton First semester 2007 (Off-campus)
Clayton Second semester 2007 (Off-campus)


Clinical forensic medicine encompasses a variety of skills/activities at the interface of medical practice and law, specialising in issues inherent in traffic medicine and custodial medicine. Inter-personal communication and sensitivity to personal, cultural and/or religious issues are also essential to providing quality service. The range of medico-legal services overlap other medical specialty areas; paediatrics, gynaecology, clinical toxicology, emergency medicine, psychiatry, dentistry and pathology.
This unit aims to provide a practitioner with the essential elements of practice in four core areas - adult sexual assault, paediatric forensic medicine, traffic and custodial medicine.


On completion of this unit the student is expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the forensic responsibilities in cases of sexual assault, paediatric forensic medicine, custodial and traffic medicine.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the broad range of circumstances where sexual assault and child abuse occur.
  3. Be able to accurately interpret injuries resulting from sexual assault.
  4. Apply general medical and forensic principles in the evaluation of accidental and non accidental trauma in children.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the effects of a range of medical conditions on driving skills.
  6. Evaluate the effects of alcohol and other drugs upon driving skills and display an understanding of drug toxicology.
  7. Comprehend the ethical issues of the doctor/patient relationship in a custodial setting.
  8. Recognise and manage a range of medical problems presenting in the custodial setting.
  9. Conduct an assessment of an individual's fitness to be interviewed or detained in custody.


Assignments (1000 words x 2) 30%, Case studies 20%, Case book (1500 words x 2) 30% and Oral presentations 20%

Contact hours

40 contact hours (tutorials), 50 hours case and practical work and approx 66 hours for individual study, assignments and case book preparation.


FOR2001, FOR2005, FOR2006, FOR2003