Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Claiming "Board Qualification"...Not Board Certification

I had an interesting time deposing a "IME" ("Independent" Medical Examination) Doctor last week.  My client was rear ended by a jeep.   Moderate damage to my clients vehicle and no real damage to the jeep.  My client has a positive MRI finding an no prior issues with his back.  It was a trial deposition for the defense so they got to ask questions first.

After twenty something minutes of opining that my client wasn't hurt as a result of the crash I was given the chance to cross examine.   About four questions in the doctor told me that he wasn't comfortable providing opinions concerning the relatedness of the crash and the injury/medicine involved due to complications with law and ethics.  Huh?  My response was obviously "well you just spent twenty minutes discussing the exact same thing with the defense, but now all of a sudden you won't be providing any opinions?!"

He changed his tune and started answering my questions.  I thought it was good tactic on his part.  State that ethically you can't answer something the Plaintiff's lawyer is asking you, but answer all of the defense questions.

He did have some interesting things to say concerning his qualifications.  Doctors make a big deal about being "Board Certified."  Basically you practice medicine for a certain period of time and then you take a test to become Board Certified.  This doctor was asked if he was Board Certified and he stated he was "Board Qualified."  Board Qualified I asked him..."what exactly does Board Qualified mean?"  It meant that he was eligible to take the test, never did take the test,
and was not Board Certified.  I asked him if that was the same thing as going to law school, but never taking the bar examination.  He didn't like that question.  But CMON MAN! Just say you aren't Board Certified and move on.  No need to give some shady answer about being qualified. 

Side note, this doctor, for the past thirteen years, hasn't practiced medicine, but instead does these reviews for lawyers.  He does them for the defense, but doesn't keep a record.  He doesn't keep a record because he doesn't want Plaintiffs lawyers to know exactly how many he is doing.  This is a common trick "IME" doctors do.

I hope the jury sees thorough all of this guys nonsense.

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