When businesses or individuals in unrelated fields find themselves in need of information relating to medical issues, they often rely on medical consultants. Frequently, legal actions, especially those involving injury, depend on medical experts to provide verification of the evidence. In addition, industries providing products and services related to health care can employ these professionals for quality assurance. Within the entertainment industry, medical television consulting firms are used to add realism to television programs with health-related plots.
Medical consultants acting as expert witnesses in civil proceedings have dual roles. The primary responsibility of a medical expert is to evaluate the evidence. In injury cases, this can involve not only establishing that an injury occurred but also the process by which it occurred and the effect that it will have on the victim. Once called to testify, the expert must then relate his or her findings in language that the jury will understand.
The ability to communicate complex medical information to lay persons is often necessary in the health care industry as well. Manufacturers of medical equipment, for example, cannot be expected to have in-depth knowledge of both medicine and manufacturing operations. As such, these businesses frequently design products based on the specifications provided by medical consultants.
Likewise, businesses that traditionally focus on customer service, such as resorts and spas, are increasingly offering treatments aimed at improving the physical and mental health of their customers. Medical consultants hired by these facilities may design new programs or evaluate the safety and effectiveness of services already in place. The role of the facility is to provide these regimens in the most pleasing way possible.
The principal concerns of advertising agencies are often aesthetic as well. When employed to represent health care facilities or organizations, ad agencies commonly use medical consultants that specialize in marketing to verify accuracy of information. In this way, the advertisers can focus on the creative aspects and mechanics of an ad campaign while still providing the best possible information to the consumer.
The growing popularity of television programming based in or around hospitals has given rise to a specialized form of medical consulting. Writers of these types of shows tend to concentrate on elements like character development and plot. It is acknowledged, however, that audiences require a certain amount of medical realism from a program. To maintain believability in a series, medical television consulting firms are often hired to provide accurate details.