If you have been asked to undergo independent psychiatric examination by Dr. Edwards, it is important that you understand how this kind of examination differs from a visit to your own physician.
- Purpose: The purpose of this examination will not be to provide you with a diagnosis or treatment. The purpose is to provide the party requesting the examination (Dr. Edwards' "client") with an opinion.
- Payment: Since the examination is performed for a third party (not yourself or the doctor) you will not pay for the examination. Neither should your medical insurance be expected to pay for this kind of examination. Dr. Edwards will not submit a claim for reimbursement for this examination under your medical plan.
- Time: You should expect to spend an entire day or more to complete the examination. Usually you will begin by taking a psychological test. Please allow enough travel time to arrive early. You may be held responsible for payment of a cancellation fee by the party requesting the examination if you do not provide at least two days notice that you will not appear for the examination.
- Medical records from your treatment providers: Dr. Edwards requires access to all prior treatment records before rendering his opinion. He considers that each provider must provide a complete, unredacted record (not a summary) with authorization by the subject of the examination. Failure to provide complete records may be deemed failure to cooperate with the examination. Your treatment providers may be subject to penalties if they refuse your request to provide records for the evaluation.
- Information gathered: Subjects of independent examinations often wonder what a particular question "has to do with" the purpose of the examination. Almost any fact from your past or that of any member of your family may be important in examining you from a psychiatric perspective. Dr. Edwards will ask questions about symptoms, medical illnesses, medications, drug and alcohol use, your childhood, your family, your education, work and military history. (WAC 296-20-330 (1c) requires enquiry into specified areas for workmen's compensation determinations.) He will also perform what is called a mental status examination. This is the psychiatrist's portion of a physical examination. Dr. Edwards will not ordinarily perform a traditional physical examination.
- Confidentiality: Since the purpose of the examination is to assist another party it is essential that Dr. Edwards be allowed to release a full report of the information he gathers to support his opinions to that party without restriction. You will be asked to sign an authorization for examination and release of medical information (see below) before Dr. Edwards will examine you. Dr. Edwards will include all the information you provide in his report at his sole discretion unless the party requesting the examination asks him to limit this. He cannot leave information out at your request. Refusal to answer and distortions of information may adversely affect Dr. Edwards' opinion in ways that may be difficult to predict.
- Accompanied examination: You will not ordinarily be allowed to bring a friend or family member into the examination room. You may be permitted to be accompanied by your attorney or other professional. This should be agreed to by all parties prior to the day of examination. The person who accompanies you may not participate in the examination. If he or she attempts to do so, Dr. Edwards may stop the examination. Please do not bring young children unless another adult can supervise them in the waiting area. You may bring an infant into the examination with you.
- Recording of examination: Dr. Edwards does not ordinarily tape record or video tape his examinations. You or your attorney may be permitted to record the examination with the permission of the party requesting the examination. This should be agreed to by all partiesprior to the day of examination.
- Results: Dr. Edwards will not provide you with a diagnosis or recommendations. Although he attempts to prepare the report in a timely fashion, it may be several weeks before it is completed. If you have a special reason to want the results to be available quickly, please communicate your wishes to the party requesting the examination and direct all your past and present treatment providers to send your complete record to Dr. Edwards immediately.
- Location: The examination will take place at Dr. Edwards' office at 14535 Bel-Red Road | Suite B-200 | Bellevue, WA 98007 | (425) 637-1981. Please see Driving Directions to Dr. Edwards' office.
- After the examination: If you want a copy of the report, please contact your attorney or Dr. Edwards' client. Please do not attempt to contact Dr. Edwards after the examination. All communications must be in writing.