A psychological medical evaluation is an independent medical evaluation that focuses on the psychological state of the individual being examined. Independent psychological medical evaluations are performed by physicians who have no relationship with the individual being examined. These evaluations are requested by insurance companies or employers to evaluate the disability status or the ability of the individual to perform work-related duties from an objective standpoint. The physician is required to have no relationship with either any party involved in the case to ensure a fair evaluation in which no party is favored and the results are not biased.
Psychology is the study of comprehending, interpreting, and categorizing the many characteristics of human behavior. Psychologists endeavor to comprehend the function of mental functions in an individual’s behavior. Some concepts studied by psychologists include perception, attention, motivation, personality, cognition, emotion, interpersonal relationships, behavior, and many others. Many practices and procedures to identify, assess, and treat mental disorders and abnormal behavioral conditions have been developed and standardized in the field of clinical psychology.
Psychological medical evaluations need to be performed by licensed psychologists because they can provide diagnoses and clinical opinions that are legally recognized. They have the ability to perform diagnostic interviews concerning the existence, extent, and treatment of mental disease, mental illness, or behavioral disorders.
There are different reasons an individual may be requested to have a psychological medical evaluation. One reason is for an employer to evaluate the employee’s workers’ compensation benefits in the case of a work-related incident. Sometimes a prospective employee is required to pass a psychological medical evaluation before being considered for a position of employment, such as law enforcement. Insurance companies sometimes request that an individual have a psychological medical evaluation to assess their disability status and their need for treatment or accommodations.
A psychological medical evaluation is a one time assessment that involves a complete analysis of medical records, a clinical interview, observation of the individual’s behavior, and a series of psychological tests that the psychologist orders. The final psychological medical report addresses the referral source’s inquiries. The psychologist’s role in the psychological medical evaluation is to only provide an objective opinion of the individual’s psychological functioning as well as suggestions for treatment, if necessary. However, in this instance, the psychologist does not actually provide the treatment.
The psychologist uses specialized diagnostic procedures to identify the presence and extent of psychopathology. The tests performed in a psychological medical evaluation involve written, oral, and projective instruments to assess the individual’s mental processes and to evaluate how those mental processes impact their behavior. When all the tests have been conducted, the psychologist will recommend appropriate treatment.
The results of the psychological medical evaluation are compiled into a report that is given to the individual, the requestor of the evaluation, and any other party involved that requires a copy of the final report.