Performing IMEs (Independent Medical Examinations) on behalf of insurance companies and attorneys is a great way to both earn additional income and diversify your practice. This work involves examining injured workers in workers’ compensation and personal injury cases and issuing a written report on your findings.
Exam fees average $1,500 and are often much higher than this. Physicians routinely do multiple exams in one day, so the earning potential is enormous. Additional income is generated from follow-up depositions.
IMEs can be done on your schedule, with minimal additional overhead, no call, and without disrupting your current practice. Many physicians continue to do IMEs even after they stop seeing patients clinically.
This work is not for all physician specialties, however. It is most appropriate for cardiologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, occupational medicine physicians, ophthalmologists, orthopedists, pain specialists, physiatrists, chiropractors, psychologists, neuropsychologists, and psychiatrists. SEAK has been helping physicians succeed as independent medical examiners since 1997. We offer numerous resources including:
FREE Whitepaper: What All Physicians Considering Starting an IME Practice Should Know: Click here
Frequently Asked Questions About Performing Independent Medical Examinations
Q. What is involved?
A. Reviewing medical records, conducting an examination of the litigant, and issuing a written report. Giving deposition and trial testimony when needed.
Q. Do I need to have my own office?
A. No, many physicians rent or sublease office space.
Q. What type of equipment is needed?
A. Minimal and basic.
Q. What is the potential liability?
A. Relatively little compared to clinical medicine. Insurance can generally be obtained for a small fraction of what medical malpractice insurance costs.
Q. Can I perform IMEs after I am retired from clinical practice?
A. In many instances yes.
Q. Do I need to be board certified?
A. Usually, yes.
Q. Do I need a medical license?
Q. How much money can I make?
A. Excellent independent medical examiners can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Complex IMEs with extensive medical records and subsequent deposition testimony can result in fees of $10,000+
Q. What are the keys to success?
A. Doing an excellent job in a timely basis and thus generating repeat and word of mouth business.
Q. Which side typically hired doctors for IMEs?
A. Usually the defendant as the plaintiff usually uses the treating physicians. Some IMEs are performed on behalf of plaintiff’s, however.
Q. What types of entities typically request IMEs?
A. Insurance Companies, IME Companies, Claims Managers, Adjusters, Case Managers, Self-Insureds, Large Employers, Third Party Administrators, Attorneys and Legal Nurse Consultants.
Q. What is the best way to get the word out to these companies that I’m available to perform additional IMEs?
A. The quickest and easiest way to market your availability for IMEs is to join the SEAK National Directory of Independent Medical Examiners.
Q. What physician specialties are most in demand for IMEs?
A. Orthopedics, Neurosurgeons, Neurologists, Physiatrists, Pain Specialists, Chiropractors, Psychologists, Neuropsychologists and Psychiatrists.
Here is what Your Colleagues have to say about SEAK’s products and services for Independent Medical Examiners:
“Very informative and quite motivating. Dorto and Valente were such high energy and totally generous leaders.”
“It was excellent and the instructors went above and beyond by staying 3 hours after class to review reports with attendees.”
“Well organized and presented with high energy and interest in participants questions and concerns.”
“I’ve been in your catalogue for a little over a year for IMEs and Record Reviews and the few vendors I work with are wonderful. Furthermore, I just got a referral for an IME from a new vendor and they found me through SEAK. Thank you very much for all that you do for my colleagues and I.”
“You have supplied my practice with so much information over the last few years our IME and Expert witness business has taken off.”
“Dear Steve, Just got paid a great complement from one of my referring attorneys. He said my IME report on a very complicated case (> 30 symptoms by plaintiff!) was one of the best he has ever received by an expert witness. I am grateful to have taken your courses and benefited from your personal tutelage. This training has been invaluable in growing my expert witness practice and helping me to produce high quality work. Keep up your excellent work and feel free to relay this anecdote to your attendees/students. Thanks again!”
“My most important source of new contacts for IMEs during the past year.”
“This SEAK IME Directory should be used by all physicians interested in performing IMEs.”
“The cost was, as you promised, offset very quickly. Add me to your list of satisfied clients.”
“The SEAK IME Directory has increased the number of referrals received.”
“A valuable source of IME referrals.”
“The Directory has increased the number of IMEs, especially for out of town referral organizations.”
“[The SEAK IME Directory] Provides me with at least two new referral sources each year.”
“Resulted in a marked increase in my IME work.”
“Based on the SEAK IME Directory I have established relationships with 3 companies to do case review on an ongoing basis – the total number of cases per year is perhaps 250. Another company has contracted with me for a fairly substantial writing/education project. Four major contracts like this in a year with recurring business from each, amounts to a very substantial amount of business – just about on the verge of what I can handle as a solo practitioner in addition to my clinical practice.”
“The SEAK IME directory proved to be one of our better sources of new leads this past year. Probably our best advertising source other than our own website.”
“The SEAK IME Directory is my main source of new business. Thank you.”
“The SEAK IME Directory is Great!! They are finding me. It is stretching me to the next level.”
“I get 5 to 10 hits every year from the SEAK Directory. It’s the best listing for me.”
Excellent ~ one of the best I have been to in 20 years”
“Extremely well run, informative, and entertaining”
“Faculty very competent and good teachers”
“More than excellent ~ profitable”
“Excellent preparation and presentation”
“Excellent way of learning in shortest period of time”
“Full of usable information”
“Outstanding seminar with multiple practical tips”
“Goldmine of legal and medical pearls of knowledge”
“One of the best CME programs that I have ever attended”
“Well organized – a lot of work put in”
“Excellent coverage of real world issues.”
“Excellent source of information… clinical and legal”
“Great, really appreciate individual feedback re: CV and sample IME provided”
“Very good, knowledgeable faculty”
“Practical point by point and examples of how to get started and forms to use, etc.”
“Very qualified speakers, excellent presentations”