IME: patient information

The purpose of an Independent Medical Examination (also called an Independent Medical Assessment) is for a psychiatrist, who is not the usual treating doctor, to undertake an objective assessment.  The psychiatrist will then write a report answering questions requested by the referring agent.
IME's may be requested by a variety of agents including personal lawyers, employers, WorkCover, and insurance agencies.  Often a report is required to assist with compensation claims, workplace injury claims, or for legal purposes.  An IME may be requested to determine whether someone has suffered a permanent impairment.  The referring agent will usually ask for background information relating to a person's past medical history, as well as details of current symptoms, and specific questions about an injury or impairment.  
Once your referring agent has organised an IME you will be informed of an appointment time, and you will be sent a consent form to complete.  Appointments are conducted via telehealth.  Generally an initial appointment will be booked for 90 minutes.  On occasion a longer appointment or a second appointment may be required.  If you would like to have a support person in attendance you will need to confirm this prior to the appointment.  If at any stage you are uncomfortable with the process of the IME you can ask to take a break or to end the appointment.  
Following the assessment a report will be provided to the referring agent.  Appointments cannot be recorded, but if you would like a copy of the report you may contact the referring agent.
Usually when you see a treating psychiatrist information is kept confidential between the doctor and the patient.  This is not the case with an IME as anything discussed in appointment can be disclosed in the report.  The role of the psychiatrist in an IME is to form an opinion and answer questions, rather than to provide treatment or ongoing management.  Importantly, the psychiatrist acts independently and is not an employee of the referring agent, and not the patient's treating doctor.