Cross-Examining Psych Doctors, Tip #17-DSM-IV-TR vs. DSM-5
Although the most recent version of the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual is the DSM-5, it has been soundly rejected by an overwhelming number of mental health professionals, including Dr. Allen Frances, the former chairperson of the DSM-IV and DSM-IV-TR Task Force, and Dr. Thomas Insel, the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health for over a decade. Dr. Insel has openly stated that the weakness of the DSM-5 is “its lack of validity.” Thus, The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) along with tens of thousands of mental health professionals have decided to use the DSM-IV-TR or have made “other arrangements.”
Tip #16 - Cross-Examining Psych Doctors-The Diagnosis is Crucial
In writing an Apricot™ for use in cross-examining a psych doctor the focus is most often on the diagnosis, which is the major problem found in most psych reports. Doing this is conceptually very simple. Just match up the diagnostic criteria found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) with the data found in the doctor’s report to see if the report lacks sufficient data to support the diagnosis. Once it has been demonstrated that the diagnosis is unsupported, there is absolutely no support for the conclusion that the patient has a psychiatric injury, a psychiatric disability or a need for treatment.
Cross Examining Psych Doctors - Tip #15-How to Decide If That Psych Report Is Really As Bad As You Think
Ask yourself? Does the doctor’s description of the patient describe enough symptoms to conform to the diagnostic manual’s definition of the disorder? Did the doctor describe enough Mental Status Examination to support their diagnosis? Do the psychological testing scores demonstrate the patient was both truthful and disordered? Asking the right questions is the first step to understanding that psych report.
Cross-Examining Psych Doctors - Tip #14-Get Questions to Ask the Doctor
What kinds of Cx questions do I provide in an Apricot™? They are questions I would not want asked of me if I were the doctor being deposed.No telling what effect they will have on the doctor being deposed but they are questions that would make me feel embarrassed and humiliated if I wrote their report.Most importantly, an Apricot™ provides the attorney with all of the information that they need to back up their questions and get to a point where it is obvious that the conclusions in the doctor’s report are flawed.
During the slightly more than 30 years I have been conducting workers’ compensation and personal injury evaluations in the State of California I have participated in the examination of between 5,000 and 10,000 patients. In the last decade the majority of those examinations have been Agreed Medical Evaluations for workers’ compensation purposes. In the course of conducting those evaluations I have watched my share of sub rosa video surveillances. How relevant are those recordings?
Overall, the average sub rosa video depicting an individual walking down the street, driving a car, going shopping, gardening, talking to a friend, smoking a cigarette etc., has little value in providing information relevant to drawing conclusions about their psychological status.
Cross-Examining Psych Doctors - Tip #13-Deciding Which Questions to Use in Cx
What kinds of Cx questions do I provide in an Apricot™? They are questions I would not want asked of me if I were the doctor being deposed. No telling what effect they will have on the doctor being deposed but they are questions that would make me feel embarrassed and humiliated if I wrote their report. Most importantly, an ApricotTM provides the attorney with all of the information that they need to back up their questions and get to a point where it is obvious that the conclusions in the doctor’s report are flawed.
Tip #12 - Cross-Examining Psych Doctors-Gambling During a Depo
Apricots™ are for when you don’t want to gamble on the outcome of a psych doctor’s deposition. Life can be boring or exciting. But you don’t want excitement if you’re taking a psych doctor’s deposition. You want it boring, to the point and a good result. If you have a psych doctor’s report that is substantially flawed I can find the flaws and tell you how to get them into the record. Settling a case, taking a doctor’s deposition or going to trial without taking a critical look at the doctor’s diagnosis is gambling. You need an Apricot™ if you don’t want to gamble on the outcome of a psych doc’s deposition (DrLeckartWETC.com).
In recent years, contact with attorneys reveals they tend to dislike taking deposition testimony from psychologists and psychiatrists. Basically, these attorneys believe that the psych doctor has so much knowledge about their subject matter that they are unapproachable on a cross-examination. Carrying that thought a little further, what is likely going on here is that since psychologists and psychiatrists use so many different terms and concepts that do not have a generally understood meaning they can easily dance around the true issues or appear to be unclear. One way of leveling this playing field is to understand what those terms and concepts really mean. Before you read your next psych report or take your next deposition try downloading my glossary of psych terms that is available here.
Cross-Examining Psych Doctors – Tip #11-Getting Help From an Expert
Got a psych depo coming up? Need to plan your strategy and devise questions? Need to write a brief on a flawed psych report? Not sure how to achieve your goals? Not sure where the report is vulnerable? Not sure what questions to ask or where to attack? You know the report is flawed but you’re not sure where? You need an expert witness. Check out my website at drleckartwetc.com and learn about Apricots™.