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Claims and complaints insights Dermatologists

Claims and complaints insights Dermatologists


Members asked us for more information about compensation claims and complaints to regulators. In response the following is a retrospective review of routinely collected data.

Claims insights
14 / 06 / 2022

Claims and complaints insights Dermatologists

Our data analysis

The types of matters Avant assisted dermatologists with included:

Claims and complaints insights Dermatologists

Regulatory complaints and claims for compensation related to:

Claims and complaints insights Dermatologists

Diagnosis-related issues



of diagnosis-related allegations involved neoplasms e.g.

  • Malignant melanoma of the skin
  • Other malignant neoplasms of the skin

These cases related to either a missed/delayed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis.

Medication-related issues



of medication-related issues were medications for acne e.g. Isotretinoin

Practitioner behaviour issues



of practitioner behaviour issues were related to communication e.g. allegations of failing to communicate results and information appropriately to atients, colleagues or other providers

Complaints: Outcomes for dermatologists

Claims and complaints insights Dermatologists

The above retrospective review is of routinely collected and coded data. Our review is based on over 140 regulatory complaints and compensation claims involving dermatologists who are Avant members across Australia. All matters were closed over the five-year period from July 2016 to June 2021 (FY2017-FY2021).

Key points

  • Dermatologists are more likely to be subject to a regulatory complaint than to be sued for compensation.
  • The most common allegations were diagnosis-related (missed/delayed diagnoses and misdiagnoses), followed by medication-related issues and practitioner behaviour.
  • Over half of diagnosis-related allegations involved neoplasms.
  • 2 in 3 complaints against dermatologists were dismissed with no further action.

Notes on the outcomes analysis

This analysis was conducted on regulatory complaints filed against orthopaedic surgeons who are Avant members over the five-year period from July 2016 to June 2021 (FY2017-FY2021). Only complaints with a known outcome were included.

The outcomes were classified based on the degree of severity for members. Shown below are some of the types of outcomes in each category.

  • Dismissed – e.g. discontinued, no further action
  • Low severity – e.g. counselled, caution, conciliation, resolution, fine
  • Medium and high severity – e.g. reprimand, conditions, registration changes, suspension, cancellation


  • Claims refers to claims for money, compensation and civil claims.
  • Complaints/regulatory complaints relate to formal complaints to regulators e.g. Ahpra.
  • Medicare matters include Medicare investigations and audits.
  • Employment disputes are matters where Avant defends members against complaints or supports members to resolve employment issues.
  • Matters include claims, complaints, coronial cases and other matters such as employment disputes and Medicare.


If you receive a claim or complaint, contact us (avant.org.au/MLAS) on 1800 128 268 for expert medico-legal advice on how to respond – available 24/7 in emergencies.

For any queries on this analysis, please contact us at research@avant.org.au

For more information on communicating with patients, including advice about obtaining consent and a wide range of other topics, visit the Avant Learning Centre, avant.org.au/avantlearning- centre, where you will find articles, case studies, podcasts, webinars, videos, factsheets and many other resources.

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