About Us

Dr. Nicola Cunningham

Dr Nicola Cunningham is a Senior Forensic Physician at the Victorian Institute of Forensic
Medicine (VIFM) and an Emergency Physician at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. She also
works as an Academy Member with the Patient Safety Review Team for Safer Care Victoria
(DHHS). Her clinical roles provide insight into community and hospital medicine, and the
interface between these areas, as well as a unique perspective on the medico-legal aspects
of clinical practice gained by managing a wide variety of forensic cases.

Nicola is responsible for the Forensic Medicine Registrar Program at the VIFM and has a
keen interest in improving the management of forensic cases, having presented and
published nationally and internationally on this topic. She has also published a number of
articles relating to patient safety in leading health and law journals. She is the current
medico-legal editor of the Emergency Medicine Australasia journal (EMA), and a section
editor for an international textbook of Emergency Medicine. She is a Fellow of the
Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and a Fellow of the Faculty of Clinical Forensic
Medicine with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. She has a Master of Forensic
Medicine and a Master of Health and Medical Law, and holds honorary appointments at
both the University of Melbourne, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, and
Monash University, Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and
Health Sciences. Her ongoing interests include raising awareness of latent system errors in
forensic medicine and educating front line clinical staff in the safe management of cases,
including the identification of potential medico-legal issues.

Professor Joseph Ibrahim

Professor Joseph Ibrahim commenced at VIFM in 2002 and contributes clinical and academic expertise in his role at the Prevention Research Unit within the Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University. Joseph’s research and education focus is the role of medico-legal death investigations for improving patient safety, and the prevention of injury to older people living in Residential Aged Care. Joseph is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine.

Joseph’s current research interests include: patient safety and human factors; quality of clinical care and performance indicators; dementia; and effects of extreme heat on the health in older persons. Joseph founded and is the current editor of the Residential Aged Care Communiqué (2006 onwards) and a former regional editor for the International Journal for Quality in Health Care (2000-2004). Joseph also co-led the establishment of the Coronial Communiqué (2003-2010).

Joseph contributes to the education activities of the Centre of Research Excellence in Patient Safety, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. Joseph also has an appointment as an Adjunct Professor at the Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, La Trobe University.

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