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.

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