Today a spent a good amount of time on the phone with a treating medical provider trying to explain why I sent him a questionnaire asking whether an injured worker had reached maximum medical improvement. Whether a provider thinks his patient needs further treatment is a pretty basic opinion. However, the provider was clearly rattled by receiving the inquiry from an attorney.
The situation is really quite simple: It is my job to argue application of the law based on the facts. However, in order for me to do my job, I need to understand the facts. This provider wrote a letter that created some confusion regarding whether additional treatment was needed, so I asked him to clarify his opinion.
On the one hand I feel bad that I caused this provider so much stress by asking him to clarify his opinion. On the other hand I also feel frustrated that lawyers are so distrusted/feared, that even simple questions cause consternation.
We really need to try and ease the tension between the medical and legal profession so that we can communicate more effectively to better assist our mutual clients and patients. It’s all about them. Making them better so that they can return to their life and routine.