Accurate and unbiased exam? R U that dense?

04/07/2009 at 5:48 AM Leave a comment

I just read an article on the front page of one of the large daily papers. The title was about whether the company doctor would give you a fair evaluation when determining a work injury.

It took me some time to recover. Just framing the question is ridiculous. There is no possible way that would ever occur. (actually a few rare irrelevent cases to come to mind.-see bottom of post).


1. The doctor is paid by the company.

2. The doctor is chosen by the company.

3. The doctor freely applied for the job knowing what is expected. He is primed to see it the company way.

4. There are so many Malingerers (you can’t believe how many) that they ( and me) get jaded and have a very hard time telling them apart from real injuries. Sometimes to the point that they don’t believe anyone is really hurt.

5. Even those with real injuries will paint an extreeme picture of the situation.-Not really their fault, they are trying to play the game that is loaded against them. Severely against them. Yet it plays poorly because it feeds into the doctors beliefs that everyone he sees is lying about something.

I worked in this kind of setting for a short while. I found the Karma absolutely horrible. conflict, deceit, no trust ( in either direction), it was impossible to help anyone. The cynicism is atrocious and soul deadening.

Don’t misunderstand that I am all for the poor hurt employee that cant get a break. Absolutely not! More than the company doctor I can tell who is really injured and who is seeing this as a ticket to a payoff or time off. I have absolutely no sympathy for those that are trying to game the system. None whatsoever. It is BAD KARMA and bad news to make too much of a minor injury. 

Besides, It hurts everyone: the patient, the doctors, the employers, the family members. the only winner  is the bum who feels entitled to lay around doing nothing while getting paid.

My point is that the system is a polarized, conflictual, irreconcilable broken machine. One side will say that there is no evidence whatsoever that any injury occurred and if there was it happened before the event at work.

The other side says that the persons ENTIRE life has been ruined and he is unable to support his dear family, blah, blah, blah.

The truth is that usually there is some injury, rarely is it debilitating, It is the lure of easy money that fuels this system. The lawyers and their doctors trying to get the easy money and the employers and their lawyers trying to make it less easy.

Except for the occasional case where it is clear to me that something untoward and severe occurred I will not get overly involved. I fill out forms as close to reality as I can discern and that is it. It is a royal PIA for which if I make any money it is no where near worth it.

For the few patients that the concept of Workmen’s comp was developed for come through my doors,  I will go to bat for them, writing a personal note  describing my long relationship with the patient (I have been in the same office for nearly 20 years) and how I see the situation. I try to differentiate them from the masses.  If a patient asks me to write that letter, then they probably don’t fit that profile. 

I don’t know how Worker’s compensation started, but I can tell you that the current system is not what they intended.


Entry filed under: How things work.

Weekend–on Call, Oh my, Oh no Why don’t you color my Opinion? Its your health.

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