7 Secrets To Getting A Good Private Medical Opinion

SECRET #1: Supply a copy of your claims file to the private doctor. We recommend that you organize it and put sticky notes or tabs on the relevant documents to make the doctor’s review easier.

SECRET #2: Provide a factual summary to the doctor. Make sure you provide facts that the VA has accepted as true. Keep in mind that the VA will reject the private doctor’s report if they believe his opinion is based on inaccurate facts.

SECRET #3: Advise the private doctor not to use speculative language. He should phrase his opinion in terms of “at least as likely as not”, “more likely than not” or “within a reasonable degree of medical certainty.”

SECRET #4: Advise the private doctor as to the standard of proof. The doctor should know that he does not need to know the cause of your disability with certainty. It should be at least 50 percent probable.

SECRET #5: Advise the private doctor to avoid, as far as possible, basing his conclusions solely on your statements–especially if your statements are not corroborated by medical or military records.

SECRET #6: Provide copies of any medical research that supports your theory of the case.

SECRET #7: Insist that the private doctor provide an explanation and reasons to support his conclusion. You should inform the doctor that a simple 1 or 2 sentence conclusion without reasons will not be sufficient.