If you are looking for a job that combines medicine with the law, you have two basic routes you can take. Either you can choose a job in medicine that deals directly with law enforcement, or you can choose a job in law that deals directly with medicine. The two may not seem much different, but there are differences.
For a job in medicine that deals with the law, you could choose to work as a coroner. Coroners frequently perform medical examinations on bodies that are connected with criminal cases. You will need to have a thorough knowledge of medicine, but you will also need to have a basic knowledge of the law.
A similar job is the job of medical examiner. These medical professionals also examine dead bodies to find the cause of death, but almost always when foul play is suspected. They work closely with the law enforcement officials to collect evidence from the body that can be used in court.
Another type of medical professional that deals with the law is a sexual assault nurse. These professionals are responsible for collecting evidence from rape victims that can be used in DNA testing in order to determine who the assailant was. Again, these professionals must know how to collect the evidence in compliance with the law so that it can be given as evidence in court.
If you are interested in pursuing one of these careers, you will need to pursue a medical degree as your primary degree. However, taking some law enforcement classes can help you get your foot in the door. You can minor in law enforcement or just take some electives in order to add some of that experience to your portfolio.
In some ways, all medical professionals deal with the law. Pediatricians must be able to spot the signs of child abuse and report them appropriately. General practitioners must do the same and also be able to spot signs of domestic abuse in adults. All doctors must be aware of the laws that surround medical malpractice so that they can protect themselves from any potential lawsuits. The law and medicine seem to go hand in hand.
If you are more interested in pursuing a law degree but wish to have some contact with the medical field, you can pursue a job an the clinical/medical negligence arena. This deals with malpractice lawsuits. Malpractice lawyers can represent either the doctor or the patient in a malpractice case. When representing the doctor, the lawyer’s job is to prove that the doctor did, in fact, provide all reasonable and necessary care for the patient. When representing the patient, the lawyer’s job is to prove the opposite.
While a malpractice lawyer needs to know the law primarily, understanding the medical field is helpful, as it allows the lawyer to relate to the terminology used by the physicians in the case. Malpractice lawyers typically study medical law and ethics, which gives them the tools necessary to decipher the tangled web of malpractice lawsuits, no matter which side they are fighting for. This career is typically chosen through the law school process as a future lawyer finds a proficiency for a particular field of law.