IAIME Vision Statement
We aspire to be the premiere society for the prevention and management of disability.
IAIME Mission Statement
The mission of the IAIME is to advance the science, prevention, evaluation, and management of disability.
The International Academy of Independent Medical Evaluators (IAIME) is a unique blend of medical specialists with a small contingent of other healthcare providers and attorneys who practice in the narrow niche of disability assessment and management and perform independent medical examinations and peer reviews. Primarily dedicated to a mission of continuing medical education, IAIME strives to improve physician performance and practice patterns to affect the best outcome for America’s injured worker.
On September 12, 1987, 75 physicians attended the first live Annual Scientific Session in Detroit. The embryonic, abridged session included eight hours of presentations by selected IAIME founding physicians. For the last five years of Annual Scientific Sessions, 250+ physicians have participated in nearly 30 live Category 1 CME hours at each annual scientific meeting. The expressed need of Fellows for self-update, improved skills and advanced topics has not changed in the past 17 years.
In the spring of 1988, 50 physicians attended the first live Clinical Training Course. Renamed the Comprehensive Training Course in 2002 to reflect its increased scope and a higher level of content validity, the four-day intensive training course continues annually. An in-depth look at rating impairments, it is the consummate CME activity required to complete the track to Fellowship. The systematic addition of disability topics and trends has expanded the value of the annual Comprehensive Training Course for all in the field. Workshops on the third day of the Comprehensive remain the most consistently popular component of the course. These include a specific evidence based process devised to improve the internal medicine workshop.
Since the first approval as an accredited CME provider in 1990, the Academy has taught at least 1,000 physicians in any given year to as many as 3,000 based on the year’s needs assessment. For example, when Texas mandated the use of a different edition of the AMA Guides, an educational component, and a certification exam by September 1, 2003, the need was pervasive. HB 7, new rules and new structure have created a growing need in Texas once again in 2006. Demand for live educational activities is unparalleled. The increased need necessitated the addition of multiple live activities and introduction of a new model for the live CME activity to the CME Program.
In the 2001 ACCME self-study, IAIME reported that seven live CME activities of unique content, repeated throughout the year, comprised its CME Program. Over the past three years, the Academy has added 20 other live activities with varied content linked to evolving and expanding learners’ needs. IAIME still maintains six of its original CME offerings dictated by the continuing need for fundamental training in disability management and impairment assessment.
Enduring Materials were introduced for the first time in September 2002. Registration has continued into 2004. These self-directed learning opportunities included two home study courses, i.e. Interpretation of Functional Ability and Upper Extremity—a Comprehensive Training Course module. A third self-directed learning product was rolled out in April 2004 when the PERT Phenomenon live course was repurposed as a home study course. In a recent survey of IAIME opinion leaders, 80% indicated IAIME changed their practices, and 70% indicated better outcomes for workers as a result.
IAIME has conducted as many as 39 CME activities in one year, including both live activities and enduring materials. The IAIME CME Program has grown by 30% since 2001.
Incorporated in 1989, the Academy was the first, and is still the only, professional society CME provider dedicated exclusively to impairment rating and disability assessment and management. A paradigm shift in 2004 unified leaders as the Academy re-focused its educational program on disability assessment and management and the ultimate improvement of the injured person’s outcome.
Leadership of the IAIME CME Program
The leaders of the IAIME Continuing Medical Education Program are exceptionally attuned to the field’s needs and knowledgeable in the art of educating colleagues, peers and all the stakeholders of the IAIME CME Program. The leadership for IAIME CME is solid and even stronger in experience and recognition level than in the Academy’s past successful years. IAIME Board members are more widely recognized as experts in the field in addition to their IAIME contributions; and all are now authors of guides and handbooks, directors of research studies, and part of regular disability course faculty for State/Local Medical Societies, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, SEAK, North American Spine Society, and other leading entities in the field.
Strategically developing the IAIME Board by identifying and recruiting those already strong leaders in the disability assessment and management field who can, and will, contribute to IAIME’s development is partly responsible for this greater leadership strength. The increased individual involvement of IAIME Board members in initiatives to improve education in the field and to write the foundation guidelines are also part of the reason. IAIME has leaders from every aspect of the field from full-time clinicians to academicians.
More aggressive external campaigning and positioning by Board members to be recognized individually and collectively as the leaders in the field has had significant impact. CME Committee members have a responsive attitude to all possible coalitions and an open mind to new opportunities.
The Executive Director and Board Members meet regularly with State Officials in Ohio, California, Texas and Kentucky, and Washington to discuss Academy prowess and identify needs specific to their environs. Board members may lecture as often as monthly to outside groups, introducing the IAIME philosophy and providing outreach opportunities in which ancillary stakeholders can express additional needs. Innovation and strong leadership from talented and skilled volunteers and the CEO alike, unquestionable commitment to the Academy values, the urge to excel, a 2004 paradigm shift, and the passion of a common purpose to improve the American workplace breathed new fire into the field. The new paradigm centering on the prevention, evaluation, rehabilitation, and treatment of disability (PERT) set the framework for the standards promulgated by the CME Mission Statement and provided the method to unify the voice of the Academy.
Current and Projected Practice of IAIME CME
As effective CME programming emphasizes outcomes measurement, IAIME strives to develop the tools to measure the results of its education on the injured worker, the State Workers’ Compensation system, the insurer(s), the relevant Federal Program, and the overriding disability issues. Measurement hinges on the accessibility of data from the respective entities. Any measurement of the overriding disability issues will take years to collect the data and see significant changes as a result of the analysis of that data.
IAIME has met with major insurance companies to build relationships and assess needs.
CME Objectives have been reworked for IAIME’s CME activities, which continue from year-to-year, i.e., Advanced Skills, Annual Scientific Session, Comprehensive Training Course, Impairment Rating Courses, AMA Guides Training, and Return to Work Seminars and Workshops, to ensure specificity as to a State’s created needs, to invoke measurability, to introduce the behavioral aspects which will improve performance and outcomes, and to edit for semantics and context.
For example, refined objectives include:
“The physician-learner should be able to:
‘Adopt the best practices of practice management to ensure efficient and smooth running of a medical practice.’”
Evaluate AMA Guides, 5th Edition, differences and complete at least one case study for each of spine, upper extremity, lower extremity and internal medicine accurately in compliance with the provisions of the Guides.”
Find, evaluate and apply the appropriate evidence to each individual situation to facilitate an outcome of returning to work sooner.”
Change practice performance to improve the injured person’s outcomes by applying the AMA Guides more accurately and consistently.
The objectives of the activity are clearly communicated on all promotional brochures and on introductory pages of the activity’s syllabus so that the learner is informed before participating in the activity. Studying course objectives will provide the additional information a learner can use to assess his or her specific needs. The Academy’s underlying values contained in the IAIME CME Mission Statement of enhancing skills, ensuring appropriate evaluations, qualifying selected physicians and standardizing processes remain the focal point of an IAIME CME Program and are measured on a regular basis to ensure the IAIME program validity.
Strengths of IAIME CME Program
IAIME benefits from multiple strengths that keep its CME Program relevant and continuously improving. They include the Board of Directors, an unmatched knowledge base, continuing strategic alliances, and a consistent and well-received educational product. Other major strengths of the Academy’s CME Program include, but are certainly not limited to:
• Knowledgeable, experienced, committed volunteer faculty with active clinical practices
• Added value of accessible faculty members—the most tangible benefit of IAIME CME
• Committed faculty members and leaders who lead by example and are dedicated to changing the practice of medicine
• Electronic inventory of tested presentations
• Loyal following of IAIME Fellows and Members
The Academy’s strengths are tantamount to its success. Care is taken not to abuse the volunteers’ time and energy or to fall short of the members’ expectations.