If you want to use your G.P. as your primary treating physician, you should consider the pros and cons first. While sometimes a general practitioner who knows you is a great option, other times it can be an obstacle during your workers’ compensation case.
Pro: Your General Practitioner Knows Your Previous Medical History… Right?
If you may have been visiting your general practitioner for years, you may want him or her to treat you because he or she knows you. Being familiar with your medical history and past injuries can be an advantage. Plus, having a rapport with your doctor can smooth the process of asking for changes to your restrictions and additional treatments.
Con: Your G.P. Is Busy and Barely Remembers You
Alternatively, your G.P. may hardly know you even though you have been seeing him or her for years. The reality is, many doctors see ten or twenty patients a day for a year and will not remember you unless you come in very frequently. So it may not make any difference whether you choose your usual doctor, or someone recommended by family or a lawyer.
Pro: Your G.P. Is Local and Has Availability for Appointments
Your general practitioner is probably local, with frequent appointment slots and access to local medical facilities. If your injury makes it difficult to drive or travel, having someone close by can make it easier to get to treatments. Since the insurance company may become skeptical if you miss appointments, a local doctor could help.
Con: Your G.P. Has Little Experience with Your Injury
Probably the biggest downside to using a G.P. as your workers’ compensation doctor: many are unfamiliar with the workers’ compensation process and typical work injuries. General practitioners may spend more time dealing with coughs and colds, minor cuts and burns, and other everyday illnesses or injuries. Workplace injuries can be complex, require surgery, or even be resistant to typical treatments.
You may need to consult specialists and have extensive physical therapy. In addition, you may need your doctor to speak with a qualified rehabilitation consultant or even submit a report for the workers’ compensation hearing. Choosing a doctor with extensive workers’ compensation experience could ease you in the process.
Need help choosing a treating physician for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.