Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program

Quickie Consult 121

From the Desk of Dr. Mark Studin
Academy of Chiropractic
Preamble: Many of the issues I bring to you are very small, yet each issue is just that, an issue. If you take care of the small issues, then you will be able to build and more importantly, focus on the bigger issues...a larger practice and more family time.

"Outside Records"


I critiqued a narrative yesterday that had me quite concerned about the doctor’s license. Many of you have made the same mistakes and you are leaving yourself exposed to potentially very bad ramifications. The following is a quote from the doctor’s narrative:

“Medical Evaluations: No outside medical records have been requested.”

It is my understanding that every state licensure board requires you to gather all pertinent outside records that will assist in making an accurate diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan. By the doctor writing this in his narrative report, he is shouting to the world that he has not followed the requirements of his license. First, you must take a look at the players. The first is the plaintiff’s (patient’s) lawyer who really doesn’t care about this statement except for the fact that you could have gotten more ammunition for his case and he will not be very happy with you. The second player is the defense lawyer who will be looking for an angle to discredit the star witness for the plaintiff, you. What better way to discredit you than a letter from your state board reprimanding you, or even worse, suspending your license because you acted outside of your licensure requirements?

 

Some of you might think this extreme and perhaps it is, but then most of you have never been involved in a trial where the lawyer will go to any lengths to win his/her case…I have. I have had lawyers go beyond this in their attempt to discredit me and win their cases. It is often not about the truth of the case, it is about getting the jury to perceive the expert as non-credible. Do not give them an opportunity by not practicing within the letter of your license. You must gather outside medical records to fully understand what is wrong with your patient. In addition, why would you chance upsetting the patient’s lawyer? More importantly, why would you chance missing something that could help your patient?

This is another non-negotiable issue; NEVER, EVER, EVER write that you did not get outside records because I expect you to get everything pertinent to the condition of your patient. That is what “real doctors” do and it is an integral part of being the best-of-the-best.

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