Abstract

The AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA Guides), Fifth Edition, explains that independent medical evaluations (IMEs) are not the same as impairment evaluations, and the evaluation must be designed to provide the data to answer the questions asked by the requesting client. This article continues discussions from the September/October issue of The Guides Newsletter and examines what occurs after the examinee arrives in the physician's office. First are orientation and obtaining informed consent, and the examinee must understand that there is no patient–physician relationship and the physician will not provide treatment bur rather will send a report to the client who requested the IME. Many physicians ask the examinee to complete a questionnaire and a series of pain inventories before the interview. Typical elements of a complete history are shown in a table. An equally detailed physical examination follows a meticulous history, and standardized forms for reporting these findings are useful. Pain and functional status inventories may supplement the evaluation, and the examining physician examines radiographic and diagnostic studies. The physician informs the interviewee when the evaluation is complete and, without discussing the findings, asks the examinee to complete a satisfaction survey and reviews the latter to identify and rectify any issues before the examinee leaves. A future article will discuss high-quality IME reports.

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