Impact of medico-legal processes on the mental health and wellbeing of doctors with pre-existing injuries or illnesses

Project Details

Medico-legal claims, complaints and disciplinary processes are designed to protect the public. However, many health practitioners experience distress as a result of these processes. In addition, most medico-legal processes result in no further action being taken against the medical practitioner. If investigative processes lead to distress and health problems for doctors, this may compromise patient safety and quality of care.

This project seeks to better understand the impact that medico-legal claims, complaints and disciplinary processes have on the mental health, emotional wellbeing, treatment and recovery of doctors with certain medical conditions.

Participants required

We are recruiting doctors with a physical or mental illness for a research study into the psychological and emotional impact of medico-legal claims, complaints or disciplinary processes. More information.


Dr Owen Bradfield is a PhD student at the Centre For Health Policy, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. Owen is also a medical practitioner and health lawyer. His research focuses on the role of medical regulation in patient safety and the intersection between doctors’ wellbeing and medico-legal claims, complaints and disciplinary processes. Owen is also a 2020 Fulbright Future Scholar.


Associate Professor Marie Bismark (Responsible Researcher)  
A/Prof  Matthew Spittal
Dr Owen Bradfield (PhD student)


A/Prof Marie Bismark is funded by a Dame Kate Campbell Fellowship from the University of Melbourne. Dr Owen Bradfield’s PhD Scholarship is funded by the Australian Government.

Research Group

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Health Policy

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