Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitVictorian Institute of Forensic Medicine
OfferedSouthbank First semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor David Wells


Paediatric forensic medicine encompasses the medico-legal issues arising from the provision of a medical service to children. The unit will largely focus on developing practitioners' skills required for the medical assessment of cases of suspected non-accidental injury in children.
Such assessments require knowledge of the relevant legislation, injury patterns, specialised investigative techniques, documentation and interpretation. Teaching will focus on trauma and forensic principles, childhood development, injury patterns (both accidental and non-accidental), medical conditions that may mimic injurious events presentation of findings and opinions to the courts.


  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of injury assessment;
  2. Develop the skills required for accurate documentation - notes, diagrams and photography;
  3. Have a comprehensive knowledge of common injury patterns at the different stages of a child's development;
  4. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of non-accidental injury as it applies to bones, intra-abdominal and intra-thoracic trauma;
  5. Discuss features of injuries of childhood both accidental and non-accidental;
  6. Understand the process of assessing children when there are concerns of neglect


Assignment 1 - Questions: 20%
Assignment 2 - Case critique: 20%
Face to face teaching & case presentation: 10%
Essay: 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

12 hours of study per week over the Semester. This will include contact time (25 hours), private study (text and readings), assessment tasks (case studies, assignments), and involvement in case work, plus a compulsory 2 day workshop.

Off-campus attendance requirements

Off-campus (distance education) with a two-three day attendance block during the semester.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


A registered medical practitioner who is involved in assessing (or may be required to assess) children where there are concerns of non-accidental injury.




FOR2006 (Paediatric Forensic Medicine).

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: