Treating Physician vs Independent Medical Evaluator
Steven D. Feinberg
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Christopher R. Brigham
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Abstract

Who is in the better position to evaluate, the treating physician or an independent medical examination (IME) physician? A treating physician has a patient-advocate role because he or she has a doctor-patient relationship with the patient/claimant. Unlike the treating physician, an IME physician does not have a doctor-patient relationship, and can, therefore, provide an impartial evaluation necessary to assess the extent to which the patient/claimant is impaired or disabled from functional activities of daily living.

  • 1.

    Barth, RJ, Brigham, CR. Who is in the better position to evaluate, the treating physician or an independent examiner? AMA Guides Newsletter. September/October 2005.

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  • 2.

    Sullivan, MD, Loeser, JD. The diagnosis of disability. Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(9):18291835.

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