Course: Risk Management Focus: Independent Medical Examinations
Author: Rosemary Gafner and James Schutte
AMA PRA Category 1 credits: 1
Estimated Hours to Complete Course: 0.75
Estimated Minutes to Complete Test: 0
Course Release Date: 1/1/2016
Course Expiration Date: 12/31/2021
An overview of the duties owed to the patients of independent medical examiners.

PLEASE NOTE: If you accessed this site through your insurer’s or university’s website, the courses you are viewing are already approved. If you accessed this site through, and are completing for an insurer or university, please confirm with that the course you wish to enroll in is approved.

Risk Management Focus
Independent Medical Examinations


In a normal provider-patient relationship, the physician or other healthcare provider owes a clear and unequivocal duty to act in the patient’s best interest. In an IME, however, the provider also owes a duty to the party paying for the exam, whose interests are often adverse to those of the examinee. While this is not a standard physician-patient relationship, you still owe at least a limited duty of care to the examinee/patient. There are several circumstances that can transform an IME into a physician-patient relationship in which there may well be a conflict between your duty to your patient and that owed to the third party. And even in the absence of a provider-patient relationship, you still owe a duty to protect the examinee from harm.


Upon completion of this course, a physician should be able to:

1. Recognize circumstances in which an independent medical examination can create a physician-patient relationship.
2. Know how to proceed if your IME reveals a condition that requires further treatment.

Target Audience
Any healthcare professional who conducts independent medical examinations.


This is a self-study course consisting of text and CME test.  Physicians should read the course content, answer the test questions and submit the answers for scoring.  Those who complete the course with a score of 80 percent or higher will earn a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 creditTM.


This course was developed by Rosemary Gafner, Ed.D. and James E. Schutte, Ph.D.  Their CVs are available at

CME Information

Medical Risk Management, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing education for physicians.  Medical Risk Management, Inc. designates this  enduring material  for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 creditTM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity is valid for release January 1, 2019 and expires on December 31, 2021.

Estimated time to complete this activity: 1 hour.

Commercial Support

This activity was developed solely by Medical Risk Management, Inc. without any commercial support.


Neither Dr. Gafner nor Dr. Schutte have anything to disclose.

Please check with your insurance carrier for approved courses before registering.  Courses not approved by your insurance carrier will not be accepted by them for any discounts they may offer.