Here’s how they can assist you in caring for your injured worker patients
WorkSafeBC medical advisors—uniquely qualified physicians located in 14 offices throughout the province—are a valuable resource for community physicians with injured worker patients, particularly when the patients have prolonged disability or complex clinical or psychosocial issues. Medical advisors do not make decisions on injured worker claims, but may be able to assist physicians in expediting care, considering rehab programs, examining patients, and navigating WorkSafeBC’s claim system. They’re available by phone, and if the call is to discuss a specific claim, the call is billable to WorkSafeBC.
Here’s what you need to know about WorkSafeBC medical advisors and what they have to offer.
What are WorkSafeBC medical advisors’ qualifications?
All WorkSafeBC medical advisors are physicians licensed in BC—most with a GP/FP background—with a minimum of 5 years of clinical practice experience. A number hold further certification and specialties, including Canadian Board of Occupational Medicine; diploma of sports medicine; certified independent medical examiner; or a master’s in epidemiology, community medicine, or public health.
Some are specialist medical or clinical advisors in fields such as occupational medicine, internal medicine, orthopaedics, neurosurgery, psychiatry, ophthalmology, dentistry, chiropractic, or pharmacy. WorkSafeBC medical advisors receive 2 to 3 weeks of in-house training, followed by mentoring for up to 6 months, and clinical updates twice yearly.
What are the main roles of medical advisors?
WorkSafeBC medical advisors have two fundamental roles:
• Clinical—to assist attending physicians in accessing expedited evidence-based care, alongside disability management and collaborative clinical care for their injured worker patients.
• Medicolegal—to provide opinions and recommendations on issues of medical impairment and disability, cause/etiology, diagnosis, treatment, or prognosis to WorkSafeBC decision-making officers who administer benefits under the Workers Compensation Act.
Do WorkSafeBC medical advisors become the treating physician?
No. WorkSafeBC medical advisors are independent physicians. You remain responsible for your patient’s care.
Do medical advisors make decisions on injured worker claims?
No. “Claim owners”—entitlement officers, case managers, or other adjudicating officers—are the decision makers. Their decisions are made after weighing evidence that includes medical opinions from attending physicians and medical advisors, as well as information from forms and consults.
Do medical advisors review all Form 8s and 11s?
No. Medical advisors do not see all claims, nor do they read every physician form that is submitted. Medical advisors are involved in claims that are complex because of clinical, disability, or medicolegal issues, and only when a claim file is referred by a physician or the claim owner.
If you would like to consult a medical advisor, please phone the WorkSafeBC office nearest you and ask to speak to one. Alternatively, tick the request box on your F8 or F11 or make the request in your consult. If you wish, we can also provide, for your personal use, a list of medical advisors and their contact information.
Who should injured workers contact?
Injured workers should contact the claim owner, who is typically a case manager, rather than a medical advisor. The claim owner will be able to answer questions and explain decisions that are made regarding the claim.
Who should physicians contact with questions about clinical care?
Through your local WorkSafeBC office, you can contact one of our clinicians, who include medical advisors (physicians), nurse advisors (occupational in nature and return-to-work experts), and psychology advisors.
Are physicians paid for time on the phone with a WorkSafeBC medical advisor?
If the call is to discuss a specific claim, the medical advisor will give you a billing code and invite you to bill for the time on the phone.
For more information about WorkSafeBC medical advisors, or to talk to one, phone your local WorkSafeBC office or call 604 244-6224, or toll free 1 888 967-5377, local 6224.
—Celina Dunn, MD, CCFP
WorkSafeBC Manager, Medical Services
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:
- Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
- There is no period after the journal name.
- Page numbers are not abbreviated.
For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org