Independent Medical Examinations

What is an Independent or Compulsory Medical Exam (IME)?

It is a medical evaluation performed by a third-party physician within their subspecialty. It can be used to resolve questions about a medical condition for a personal injury claim. As part of the examination, the doctor reviews the relevant medical records, examines the person, and writes an unbiased report about an injury or condition. The primary purpose of an independent medical exam is to get a non-biased review of a person’s medical condition to verify the reported injuries are accurate and that all treatments are necessary.

Who is an Independent Medical Examiner?

An Independent Medical Examiner is a board certified physician who provides a physical examination, review of medical records, and a written report. Typically, they examine and report within their specialty. Dr. Peter Howard is an experienced fellowship trained board certified orthopedic surgeon. He is an expert in his field, providing services for major league sports teams and is a reviewer for prestigious orthopedic journals.

Who is an Expert Medical Advisor?

An Expert Medical Advisor is a Florida judge-appointed board certified physician within their subspecialty who provides a physical examination, review of medical records, and a written report, deposition, or live testimony to assist the judge in determining the matter.

What Happens During an IME?

Before the examination, the medical records and any other documents relevant to the injuries (such as an injury report or statements given in the case) are sent to the IME doctor. The doctor decides whether to review the documents before or after the examination.

The insurance company or legal team may write a letter to the doctor explaining the injury, summarizing the course of treatment to date, and posing specific questions about the medical condition. These questions are used to frame the issues for the doctor. The questions that might be asked include:

  • Has the condition been correctly diagnosed?
  • Did an accident or exposure cause the current symptoms? Was the condition possibly developed through personal activities or other conduct?
  • Is additional medical treatment or testing needed, and if so, what type of treatment? For example, if surgery is recommended, is it necessary and appropriate?
  • When will the person be able to return to work or other activities, if at all? Do they need restrictions on what they can do at work (such as not lifting over a certain weight or not standing for prolonged periods)?
  • Is there any permanent disability, and if so, to what extent?

Independent Medical Exam Classifications:

• Worker’s Compensation. When an employee suffers a job-related injury or sickness associated with their employment.
• Liability Injury situations. If someone suffers an injury on a property, the owner may be liable for some level of compensation.
• Personal Injury. Many personal injury cases involve traffic accidents, accidents in a home, or product defect accidents – also referred to as product liability.

Specialties & Services

Provider Specialties:
  • Hand & Wrist Surgery
  • Foot & Ankle Surgery
  • Shoulder & Elbow Surgery
  • Hip & Knee Reconstruction & Arthritis Surgery
  • Sports Medicine Surgery
  • Trauma Specialists
  • Spine Injuries
  • General Orthopedics
  • Rehabilitation
Services
  • Diagnostics
    • X-Ray
    • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
    • Computerized Tomography (CT scan)
    • Ultrasound
    • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Rehabilitation Services
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy/Certified Hand Therapy
  • Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
  • Sports-Related Concussion Treatment

Contact Us:

Phone number is 727-787-5577 EXT 226
Fax: 727-781-7757
Email: astefan@floridaortho.com

Locations:
New Port Richey
5243 Hanff Lane
New Port Richey, FL 34652

Palm Harbor
3890 Tampa Road
Suite 202
(BayCare Medical Arts Building)
Palm Harbor, FL 34684