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eTalk #6 - Reduce the risk of a medical negligence claim

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  • Overview

Medical negligence—or medical malpractice—happens when treatment falls below an acceptable standard. Clinicians have a 'duty of care' to exercise reasonable care, skill and judgement when examining, diagnosing, treating and advising their patients. If they breach that duty, they may be liable for any harm caused. Medicine is a complicated practice and providers aren't expected to be perfect. Sometimes medical treatment is unsuccessful and injuries occur, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there has been any negligence. Negligent treatment is more than a reasonable mishap or mistake, and may involve:

  • making an existing condition worse
  • misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition
  • failure to provide the appropriate treatment or referral
  • a delay in diagnosis or providing the appropriate treatment or referral
  • failure to perform surgery or provide post-operative care with reasonable care and skill
  • incorrectly reporting on test resultsProtecting yourself from

This presentation will discuss risk management for physiotherapists including recent case studies.



Dimitra Dubrow is a Principal and head of Maurice Blackburn’s Victorian medical negligence department. She is a Law Institute of Victoria Accredited Personal Injury Specialist with 17 years’ experience in medical malpractice claims. Dimitra acts exclusively in medical negligence claims, pursuing compensation on behalf of injured patients and the families of deceased patients. Her expertise covers a number of areas including:

  • failure to diagnose and treat by emergency departments
  • mismanaged obstetric care and birth trauma claims
  • issues with surgical care, and
  • failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis of cancer cases


CPD hours: 1