If you’re a federal employee who has sustained a work-related injury, you may be entitled to collect workers compensation. First, however, you’ll need to undergo an Independent Medical Exam to verify your medical condition. Not every physician accepts federal workers’ compensation claimants. The best way to find a federal work injury doctor is to ask your regular physician for a referral.
The Independent Medical Exam
The purpose of an Independent Medical Exam is evidentiary, so medical confidentiality is not a part of this exam. You can expect the physician conducting it to report back on anything he or she observes even if those observations aren’t a part of the physical exam itself. In fact, the physician may face incentives to downplay the extent of your injuries since he or she is being compensated by the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, which has an interest in denying your claim.
The physician will be evaluating whether any symptoms you’re complaining of are related to the injury you sustained and whether particular treatment options are necessary. In order to do that properly, the physician may need to review past medical records as well as injury reports and other documentation that may be relevant to your claim. Some physicians may opt to review these documents before they perform your physical examination.
The Independent Medical Exam’s Impact
The physician who performs your Independent Medical Exam is an experienced witness in the eyes of the judges or other administrative officials who will be conducting your hearing. If he or she disputes your contention that job-related injuries are responsible for your symptoms, your claim may be denied because it’s unlikely you’ll be able to request a second medical examination unless you can prove the doctor made a mistake examining you or is interpreting your medical history incorrectly. This is why it’s so important to choose a physician who will assess your symptoms fairly. A consultant with experience in this area may be able to help you defend your rights by helping you find a medical provider who will treat you justly when you’re hurt.