A key to a successful disability claim is support from your treating doctors. They will be called upon to complete forms and often are requested to speak with medical consultants from the insurance companies who will ask them to confirm your restrictions and limitations. We recognize the importance of working with doctors, and having them understand their patients’ impairments. Recently, an interesting article appeared in the New York Times, For New Doctors, 8-Minutes Per Patient where Doctor Pauline W. Chen commented on the astonishing truth that “doctors-in-training” are only allowed to spend minutes with each patient.
This unfortunate reality is in stark contrast to the fundamental care services, which doctors provide to their patients. Today, doctors-in-training are not allowed to spend more than 80 hours per week at the hospital. To compensate for this strict time restriction, some doctors-in-training “sneak” back into the hospital to check on patients. This is a significant drawback to the healthcare profession, especially since most individuals choose to pursue a career in healthcare with the hope of interacting with patients.
This dramatic change was spawned by medical centers transitioning into an era of electronic-based record keeping. This, together with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education limiting the number of hours that interns are allowed to work, created this devastating reality. Regrettably, “current interns spend the majority of their time in activities only indirectly related to patient care, like reading patient charts, writing notes, entering orders, speaking with other team members and transporting patients.”
The question remains, with only 8 minutes spent with each patient, how can a doctor fully understand the patient’s impairment?
We at Bonny G. Rafel LLC have a solution. We typically have clients complete a symptoms worksheet before meeting with a healthcare professional and we work very closely with clients so they know how to describe their symptoms and what paperwork they should request from their doctor (i.e., progress notes). This way, clients are able to abide by their doctor’s time constraints, while also getting the information needed for their disability claim.
We recognize the importance of consulting with a healthcare professional and with our unique approach, we respect the doctor’s occupational duties, while also advocating for our client’s crucial needs.
By Alison Weitzer