Key facts about the workers’ comp physician relationship

Physicians are supposed to work in the best interest of the patient; however, this is not always the case. When employees seek needed care after an injury on the job, the physicians they see are critical components of their recovery process.

Some employees may not be fully aware of the influence they have in this decision. There are a few key facts that employees should know about their relationship with their workers’ compensation physician.


An employer may try to control the recovery process by selecting the physician from whom an employee receives treatment. However, according to Illinois’ workers’ rights laws, employees have the ability to select their physicians. Even those who are under an employer’s PPO still have the ability to choose their own physicians. It is important to keep in mind that employees may only select up to two main physicians, so they should make that decision wisely.


If patients desire certain tests within reason, they have a right to request those tests, and the physician should oblige. When a patient develops a solid relationship with a physician, they may work together to develop a proper treatment plan for the patient, which should be the ultimate goal. However, if a physician refuses to perform certain examinations or tests, the patient has the right to seek medical attention elsewhere. In such cases, patients should be mindful of whether or not the policy would cover a new physician.

Key characteristics 

In choosing a proper primary physician, there are certain characteristics to look for. Along with the physician having experience and a positive reputation, for those with certain illnesses, it may be beneficial to find a physician who specializes in that area. Also, patients should choose physicians whom they feel they can develop a solid rapport with.

By keeping these things in mind, employees can make a strong decision when choosing their physician. It may also be beneficial to review the workers’ rights laws to understand what resources are available to them.