What happens at an Independent Medical Examination (IME)?
In most cases, attending an appointment for medico-legal or fitness for duty purposes will be very similar to attending an appointment with any health care professional. The only difference is that the medical specialist who has been arranged to exam you for medico-legal reporting purposes cannot provide you with any advice or comment on treatment.
The medical specialist will have been provided with information concerning your injury and/or medical condition prior to the appointment. The medical specialist will wish to:
- Obtain a history from you
- Ask you questions relating to the injury you have received
- Ask you questions relating to the effect of the injury on your personal, social and recreational life (Activities of Daily Living i.e.; self-grooming, driving, playing sports, housework etc.)
- Ask you questions relating to any treatment you have received for your injury
- Review any investigative test findings (x-rays, MRI and CT scans etc)
- Where relevant, conduct a physical and or specified test or assessment.
What should I take to the appointment?
- Photo identification, this is used for the medical specialist to confirm your identity and may be scanned on your arrival to the appointment so the doctor has a copy to assist in the preparation of the report.
- The medical specialist will have been provided with the information he/she will require by your referring company but if there are any x-rays or results of other test that are in your possession that may be relevant to your appointment, please bring these with you.
- A list of medications that you take.
What should I wear to the appointment?
You may be required to remove some clothing for examination purposes. We will provide you with a gown where appropriate. Clothes may need to be removed so the medical specialist is able to visually assess your physical injury and also note scarring.
Where possible, please wear appropriate clothes and footwear to assist the doctor. Examples of appropriate attire may include:
- Spinal Injury: Loose shirt
- Shoulder Injury – Sleeveless shirt
- Hand/elbow Injury – Short-sleeved Shirt
- Hip/Knee Injury – shorts, loose trousers
- Foot Injury: Shorts, Skirt, Loose trousers, and easily removable shoes
How long will the appointment take?
The appointment will generally last between 45 minutes to 60 minutes however this may vary depending on the medical specialist and the type of assessment you are required to undergo. Complex maters can take longer than a typical assessment time.
Can I take someone to the appointment with me?
You are welcome to take a friend or relative with you for support if you need to. However, this person cannot act as an interpreter or answer the medical examiner’s questions.
Do I need to come early? What if I am running late?
Please arrive early to your appointment as our appointments run as scheduled. If you think you are running late please contact your case manager as soon as possible as we may in certain circumstances have to reschedule your appointment to another date. We are unable to accept your request of cancellation or reschedule unless it’s made by your insurer or agent that has made your initial appointment.
A patient questionnaire and consent form will be provided to you at the time of your arrival at your appointment, the medical specialist will not be able to proceed with your appointment unless the consent form is completed.
Can I have a copy of my report?
A copy of your report is made available only to the insurer or agent that requested your appointment.
Can I bring my family?
Children are not permitted to be in the appointment with you and our administration staff cannot supervise your children, we recommend you make other arrangement for your children on the day of your appointment. Our waiting areas are limited spaces so we ask you do not bring along family members unnecessarily, so that other people are comfortable in the waiting room while waiting for their upcoming appointment.
Can I record my appointment with the doctor?
Recording any part of your assessment may result in legal action. It is wise to discuss your intentions to the medical specialist conducting your assessment so you are informed of the privacy laws that you will be in breach of. Appointments will be terminated if you are found to be using a recording device.