In their latest PA Law Weekly article, “The Unavoidable Bias of an Independent Medical Exam,” Partner Sam Pond and Attorney Andrew Ruder explain how doctors commissioned by employers have an inherent bias when evaluating injured workers. These independent medical examinations (IMEs) are anything but independent. Examiners form opinions of the injured worker without having full treatment records, making it impossible to understand the true scope of injuries. The doctors are also hand-picked by the employer and compensated for their time, creating an inherent conflict of interest.
Sam and Andrew emphasize that the testimony of the injured workers’ primary physician should be given greater weight than the one-time IME doctor’s when rendering decisions in workers’ compensation cases.