Paralegal medical consultation work is a highly skilled and often handsomely rewarded line of occupation. What is it, and who can get involved? Here’s the scoop.
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Paralegal medical consultants, or PMCs for short, fulfill a niche and very important interdisciplinary crossing of two worlds – the medical and legal professions. They typically work alone and for themselves as private consultants offering their services to other professionals in need of them. What sort of consultation services do they render?
As a paralegal medical consultant, one is a sort of hybrid expert between medicine and law. In court cases, a PMC may be needed in order to translate medical records into legal documents containing those records’ info or references. Conversely, they may be needed in order to apply legal frameworks to medical procedures and their associated communications. Ultimately, these professionals serve a very valuable purpose, bridging the gap between what an attorney can do in medical terms and what a doctor can do legal terms.
A better understanding of this profession can be gleaned by taking a look at some of the clients who employ its services and why. One of the primary clients of PMCs are lawyers and law practices. As touched on above, attorneys are limited in medical knowledge and can then run into situations in which they need help understanding some medical matters or crafting legal actions properly geared toward those medical matters. PMCs are the experts uniquely able to bridge this gap.
Quite inherently, the next biggest clientele group of PMCs are medical providers. Hospitals, doctors offices, and even medicine-focused organizations reach out for this kind of consultation help when legal clarity is needed for various reasons. The business may wish to get help creating documents or legal actions that broadcast their medicine-based situation in a legally legitimate and correct manner. In other cases, the PMC is utilized by the medical industry in various forms of operations guidance or to help with major organizational changes so that legal legitimacy is always maintained throughout.
How to Become One
To become one of these kinds of hybrid, cross-field specialists, one must be educated adequately in both law and medicine. What this means, however, is actually whatever is found to be acceptable expertise for clients to feel safe about purchasing the PMCs services. In this realm of flexibility, some PMCs earn a paralegal degree as well as a nursing degree, gain subsequent experience in each field, then branch-off into PMC work. Others choose to take either the medical or legal side of their education a step further, pursuing instead a full law or medical doctor degree.
No matter how the knowledge is gained, there is, however, one, professional, formal certification for this line of work – the Legal Nurse Consultant Certification, or LNCC. The LNCC is distributed by the American Legal Nurse Consultant Certification Board to anyone who is able to prove ample knowledge in both the legal and medical realms. The applicant’s knowledge is tested via a 200-question examination battery involving past case studies in both the legal and medical professions.
Paralegal medical consultation is a niche but highly respected and handsomely compensated profession. Workers here work for themselves and resolve some very important matters for many medical and legal professionals and organizations alike. These are the basics of paralegal medical consultant work as it stands today.