MDA National is much more than an insurance provider. In fact, we rarely talk about ourselves in those terms. We are truly a Member service organisation – with the emphasis on “service” – supporting and protecting our Members through the inevitable medico-legal issues they may face at some point in their career. This commitment is never more evident than in the work of our medico-legal team.

What’s your career background?

I am a general practitioner by training. In 1987, I started work as a partner in a four-person general practice; then our family moved to the US in 1994. I did distance education in child sexual abuse at the University of Colorado. On returning to Sydney, I worked at a Sexual Assault Service doing forensic medical assessments – writing reports for court and giving evidence in court. It was an interesting intersection between medicine and criminal law, and I continued to work part-time in general practice.

What led you to your role at MDA National?

In 1998, I started as a medico-legal adviser at The Medical Defence Union (which later merged with United Medical Protection, now known as Avant). It seemed a good opportunity to explore another dimension to my medical/legal background. I joined MDA National in 2002. It’s a bit like medical practice – you connect with people, understand what’s going on, and work with them to find a solution.

Has your job lived up to your expectations?

Very much so... I loved the work from the moment I started. I enjoy the diversity – providing medico-legal advice, managing claims, giving talks and writing articles. It’s a fascinating line of work, challenging and very rewarding. I enjoy helping Members with medico-legal issues – and interpreting the medicine for the lawyers and the law for the doctors. Being able to support Members through stressful medico-legal issues and make a difference gives me great satisfaction.

What are your interests outside of work?

I’m a great fan of the theatre and orchestra, and I love to read. I have three grown-up children – my daughter Ella who is a Physician trainee, and my sons Hugh and Ted.

Do you have a favourite quote?

“Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future” – Niels Bohr

If you could change one thing for doctors or the medical profession, what would it be?

I’m very passionate about doctors’ health. I would love to see it gain greater recognition, and for more work to be done to improve the health and wellbeing of doctors, especially our doctors in training.