Getting healthy again from a work related accident should always be the top priority. Therefore, it is crucial that the injured worker makes the most of his or her time with the physician. If the injured employee has the panel of physicians, thoughtful consideration must be exercised upon selecting the authorized treating physician. This doctor holds a good deal of power. The injured worker should research the potential physicians and ask for advice from more knowledgeable resources such as Ramos & Law. It is important not to simply accept where the Employer or insurance company sends the employee.
When the employee attends the medical appointment, it is important that he or she gives an accurate description of the symptoms and painful areas. Many times, the physician or nurse will ask the injured employee to rate the pain she is experiencing. Level 1 generally equates to “no pain” while Level 10 equates to “the most pain.” It is important not to exaggerate. Level 10 may necessitate a call for an ambulance. On the other hand, there is no need to hide symptoms or be stoic. The physicians should be there to help. At Ramos & Law, we recommend that injured employees keep a journal or diary of symptoms. Write them down regularly so that you will have data to present to the doctor. Also, write down the mileage from the employee’s residence to the medical facility. This includes therapy and pharmacy visits. These notes should be relatively detailed. However, we do not recommend writing anything down that you don’t want someone to read. Additionally, we recommend that the injured worker request a copy of the medical narrative or note pertaining to the medical appointment.
The doctors visits should be used to analyze the data the injured worker presents, not to discover or “fish” for the symptoms. The patient should be prepared to discuss the data and ask thoughtful questions as to what the physician recommends.