It is amazing how unaware we often are of our very surroundings, even when the circumstances and scenario directly impact us. Doctors see dozens of patients per day, and the administrative aspects of their medical practice rarely engender excitement; for, while being a proponent of a patient to assist in the entirety of the recuperative process, writing a medical narrative report is not the crux (for most doctors) of that process.
However, when a doctor makes statements which clearly reveal the extent of administrative support that they are willing to provide, it is time to listen. For example, if your treating doctor says something to the effect of, “Your job is clearly killing you,” or “you shouldn’t be doing this line of work,” or sometimes even the non-subtle approach of: “You need to medically retire” — the response for the Federal or Postal employee who is seeking to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits should not be one of remaining silent, unaware, smiling distractedly, or even responding with, “Yes, I know, but…” with a trail of silence.
That scenario is precisely the moment to seize, and to say to the doctor, “Doctor, I think that you are right. Will you be willing to write a medical narrative report which would support me in my quest to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits, which would then allow me to recuperate from my medical condition?” Such a conversation must have the cooperative participation of both the doctor and the patient. For, if the doctor does not bring the subject up, and the Federal or Postal employee begins the process of seeking to prepare, formulate and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, the type of conversation-opener described herein will have to take place, anyway.
If the doctor brings up the subject during any clinical examination or encounter, the pursuance of such a conversation should be taken advantage of. The old saying that the doctor knows best is certainly illustrated when one’s treating doctor has opened the door to supporting the Federal or Postal employee in the quest to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the Office of Personnel Management.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
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