Instructor: That’s a pretty safe question. He’s a little shaky on that. Okay. Let me ask you this. You only saw the examinee once for, let’s say, an hour. The treating doctor has been treating this claimant numerous times over five years, okay? And, isn’t the treating the doctor in a better position to opine on disability impairment and work capacity in this case?
Man 1: I don’t know.
Instructor: So, they may be?
Man 1: Perhaps.
Instructor: Okay. So, as far as you know, the treating doctor may be in a better position than you are to opine on this?
Man 1: Perhaps.
Instructor: Okay. So, let’s see if we can have a better answer. Anybody has a better answer than that? Okay. So, here’s a better answer, if you would. The treating doctor has a physician-patient relationship with the patient, okay? He is their advocate. I am an impartial doctor. That’s number one. That’s bullet point number one. Number two, treating doctors normally only spend 10 or 15 or 20 minutes with the person. I spend six or seven hours working on this case. Number three, I’ve had access to all of the medical records and was able to look at this case retroactively, okay? In addition to that, I’ve had training in doing independent medical examinations and forensic work, okay? So, based upon this, my education, training, and qualification, it’s my opinion that I’m in a better position to opine on these issues, okay?
Man 1: But I only said three words and you went away.
Instructor: Oh, I thought you were gonna keep saying that. I mean… So that’s…You know, in actuality, you know, you’re the patient’s advocate, you’re the doctor, and you believe in what they say. Here you’re an impartial doctor. Now, there’s questions about that they can ask you too. “You get paid?” whatever. But that question comes up all the time. And you need to be… That’s an easy question, that’s a softball question.
Excerpted from SEAK’s stream on-demand course, “How to Start, Build, and Run a Successful IME Practice”