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How to Write a CV for an Expert Report - Dr Mark Burgin

01/06/22. Dr. Mark Burgin BM BCh (oxon) MRCGP explains what a court is looking for in an expert’s CV and how even senior experts can keep their CVs looking fresh.

Courts need to be able to see in the medical report why they should consider this expert witness should be seen as an expert in this case.

Although anyone can say that they are an expert it is the court that determines whether the practitioner is an expert.

This article explains what evidence the expert needs to provide so that a court is a reasonable position to make the determination.

If the court decides in a particular case that the expert has not shown satisfactory expertise the expert may be forced to indemnify their solicitors.

There are three elements to expertise – the professional training, the professional experience and medical legal experience.

Professional training

A common error is not to spell out the nature of the professional’s training as some issues will be in the basic training and some in specialist training.

Any doctor should be able to perform a chest examination to a satisfactory standard but many doctors cannot visualise the retina with an ophthalmoscope.

Examinations cover a large range of subjects but those that are relevant to the issues in the case should be disclosed as should continuing professional development.

The word to guide the expert is ‘focused’, stick to the subject of the case, irrelevant evidence can make it difficult for the court to determine expertise.

Professional Experience

It is important to explain what the expert learned in the job roles that they have undertaken so for instance an orthopaedic staff grade might see mainly soft tissues or mainly be in surgery.

The case may require assessment of children and relevant examinations, work and non-work experience should be mentioned.

A common issue is that GP or A&E experts do not explain why they have sufficient expertise in psychological matters with reference to the patients that they see.

Where an expert is working in a different area they will need to show that their previous experience was sufficient and that they recognise when cases are outside of their expertise.

Medical legal experience

The same principles apply to the expert’s experience in writing reports and learning about the law and presenting evidence as to the professional aspects.

The expert should state how many reports they have written and over how long a period in each of the different fields (PI, clinical negligence, criminal, family etc.) that they work.

Some cases are more likely to go to court and discussion of giving evidence would be appropriate and others involve historic matters going back many years.

In general the less reports written the more the court will expect the expert to have attended relevant courses such as those on CPR35.


The CV will be in every report that the expert writes so is worth getting right in a focused section that addresses all the three areas of experience.

Experts who have nonstandard experience may need help to present their CV well, but all experts should stick to the limits to their expertise.

An expert should ensure that their CV clearly states what their speciality is, how long they have undertaken any relevant experience and what training they have done.

The CV should be honest and transparent so the court can immediately see if the expert does or does not have expertise in that case.

This is part of a series of articles by Dr. Mark Burgin. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own, not those of Law Brief Publishing Ltd, and are not necessarily commensurate with general legal or medico-legal expert consensus of opinion and/or literature. Any medical content is not exhaustive but at a level for the non-medical reader to understand.

Doctor Mark Burgin, BM BCh (oxon) MRCGP is on the General Practitioner Specialist Register.

Dr. Burgin can be contacted on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 0845 331 3304 website

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The opinions expressed in the articles are the authors' own, not those of Law Brief Publishing Ltd, and are not necessarily commensurate with general legal or medico-legal expert consensus of opinion and/or literature. Any medical content is not exhaustive but at a level for the non-medical reader to understand. 

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