Psychiatric Fitness for Duty Evaluations in San Bernardino and Riverside County

By, Dauglas Stoddard

The med-legal industry has seen an increase in requests for Psychiatric Fitness for Duty Evaluations in the Inland Empire (San Bernardino/Riverside County) in recent years. A Psychiatric Fitness for Duty Evaluation (FFDE), also called a Psych Fitness for Duty Evaluation, is an exam administered by a physician to ascertain if an employee has any psychological issues that would cause him/her to be unable to do his/her current job.

A Psychiatric Fitness for Duty Evaluation is generally requested by an employment organization if a worker’s behavior has become troubling. Examples of troubling conduct might include threats of violence, paranoid thinking, hostile behavior toward others, impaired ability to focus, anxiety, depression or bizarre behavior. Employers may also ask for a Psychiatric FFDE if an employee has been on leave and wants to return to work, but there are still questions about his/her mental condition. It’s very common for school districts and other government organizations to request Psychiatric Fitness for Duty Evaluations.

A Psychiatric FFDE should be done by a board-certified psychiatrist. Although physicians don’t need to have any special certifications beyond a medical license to perform an FFDE, it’s wise to use a physician who has performed Fitness for Duty Evaluations before. FFDEs need to address the specific questions being asked in clear language understandable to the non-mental health clinician. Doctors who are not familiar with the process will often have difficulty with this and may also have issues complying with laws pertaining to FFDEs.

California Medical Evaluators (CME) works with over 150 physicians all across the state of California who frequently perform Psychiatric Fitness for Duty Evaluations as well as QMEs, IMEs and Expert Witness Testimony. Our physicians are carefully chosen to ensure that they have the right training and experience to conduct top-quality evaluations.

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