QUESTION: What are the significant differences and similarities between an independent medical evaluation (IME) and a medical consultation?

ANSWER: While there are similarities between an IME and a comprehensive medical consultation, they have important differences. An IME, as defined in the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Sixth Edition, is typically a one-time examination conducted by a nontreating medical examiner and is intended to answer specific questions proposed by the requesting party. On the other hand, most medical consultations occur at the behest of a patient or physician and are generally aimed at resolving clinical matters.

Law and medicine follow distinct methodologies. The legal practice operates on an adversarial system, which is inherently contentious and argumentative and is engineered to accommodate contrasting and conflicting viewpoints. Resolution is typically sought through a jury, a judge, or...

You do not currently have access to this content.