Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program
Quickie Consult 187
“What's With Mary?”
I just read a great narrative report. It was my narrative template that a doctor purchased and used to create his narrative. As I was reviewing this beautiful document, I noticed that the doctor used the patient’s first name, Mary. This isn’t the first time I have come across this type of reporting. It has appeared in 20-25% of the reports I critique.
Holy Crap! Let me remind you, you are a doctor, the consummate professional, the expert in trauma and the person that you want the lawyer to think of first. Here is what you are not: a frat house, a social club or even worse, Mary’s friend. Get the picture?
In rendering an opinion as an expert, you have to be unbiased and credible in reporting the facts of the causality, bodily injury and persistent functional loss not of Mary, but of Mrs. Jones. The only place the name Mary should appear is in the heading when you list the reason for the report, and it will be Mary Jones. Otherwise, you must refer to the patient formally as Mrs. Jones or Ms. Jones.
The little things make a huge difference, and this is simply 4 letters and 1 word that will destroy your relationship with a lawyer.