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Independent Medical Exam

Dr. Rose is known worldwide for his surgical talent and expertise in treating disfiguring injuries caused by burns, dog bites, and trauma sustained during an accident or crime. He’s also an expert in treating facial paralysis and other issues that may affect your daily routines.

He’s closely involved in the initial care of his patients as well as the ongoing treatment often required due to nerve damage, scarring, physical impairment, and even emotional factors related to changes in appearance and memories associated with the traumatic incident.

Dr. Rose is widely respected as an independent medical examiner. He uses his considerable experience in plastic and reconstructive surgery to help patients, insurance providers, product manufacturers, and their legal representatives reach a fair settlement regarding the future implications of your injury or medical condition.

He’s happy to explain some of his responsibilities as an independent medical examiner.   

Understanding the role of the independent medical examiner

As an independent medical examiner (IME), I’m tasked with performing an objective assessment of a patient’s injuries or illness, especially as they relate to future treatment costs and the permanency of physical or work restrictions resulting from the medical issues under consideration.

I’ve been retained by counsel for defendants and plaintiffs alike in cases involving personal injury, product liability, negligence, and work-related injuries. My goal is always to provide as accurate a prediction as possible of how an injury or the consequences of an illness — such as Bell’s palsy, which sometimes causes facial paralysis — affect a patient’s future.

Many catastrophic burn victims, for instance, require extensive and complex medical treatment for years after the initial injury. This often includes surgeries to repair nerve damage and address the scarring associated with burns.

These follow-up procedures require wound care during the healing phase and possibly physical therapy after that to help restore function to the affected regions. All of this should be taken into consideration when assessing a patient’s future financial, physical, and emotional costs after an injury or illness.

My experience and skill as a surgeon help me evaluate whether certain procedures are likely or unlikely to provide effective solutions. This can help a patient avoid needless and costly medical treatment and ensures patients receive the care they need.  

It’s important to note that as an IME, I cannot legally provide these exams for patients under my care. Also, I’m retained by legal counsel and, unlike what you might expect in other circumstances, communicate my findings and other considerations directly to the retaining attorney and not the patient. These “rules” help me remain objective and reduce potential conflicts of interest that may negatively impact the outcome of a case.

What’s involved in the independent medical exam?

The assessment is understandably exhaustive. It includes a physical exam, during which I carefully evaluate issues such as scarring, nerve damage, physical disfigurement, functional impairment, and numerous other physical factors. This includes precise measurements of the depth, width, and length of scars. I also assess the function of nearby joints that may be affected by scarring, which can tighten the skin to the point that it reduces a joint’s range of motion.

Along with a physical evaluation, I perform a very detailed review of hospital and physician records regarding the treatment a patient has received to date, including action taken in the emergency room. It’s a meticulous process, during which I consider all aspects of the accident, when applicable. I also review complications that may have occurred, such as infection, and rehabilitative measures undertaken to restore a patient’s physical and emotional function.

Essentially, everything related to the injury or illness and its impact on a patient’s health and well-being comes under my review, including subjective notes about a patient’s expressed feelings regarding pain or fear and other emotions pertaining to the experience.

I then provide an extensive report of my findings and future treatment recommendations, based on my own expertise as well as data from reliable sources such as the American Burn Association. This includes information regarding the expected costs of treatment. I’m also available as an expert witness as needed during legal proceedings.

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