Claimant Training Day: The Recent Development of “IME Prep”

Recently, a Claimant attorney and two orthopedic surgeons have published “IME Prep,” an instructional DVD series created by Atlanta Claimant’s attorney Rob Hendrix. IME Prep is designed to educate claimants and their counsel about what goes on at an IME. This development has caused great concern within the Workers’ Compensation community, and with good reason.
In fact, one of the stated goals on IME Prep’s website is to “prepare the client for the legal issues associated with the examination.” It is clear the intent behind the DVDs is to manipulate IMEs.
According to IME Prep’s website, Mr. Hendrix wanted to prepare his clients for the “tricks” that IME physicians use to give them ammunition to opine that the patient is engaging in symptom magnification, malingering, secondary gain, etc. As a result, he created IME Prep. This program appears to not only guide claimants as to how to behave at an IME, but also drives them to believe that IME physicians are attempting to “trick” them as part of the examination. The notion that IME physicians are trying to trick claimants could cause them to not trust IME physicians. Furthermore, this leads claimants to believe that the primary purpose behind the Workers’ Compensation Act is not to return to work, but instead monetary gain.
While Mr. Hendrix is the President of IME Prep, two orthopedists are also actively involved in the business. Dr. Erik T. Bendiks and Dr. Scott A. Barbour are both orthopedic surgeons known in the workers’ compensation community. Given the recent development of IME Prep, employers and insurers should review their panels of physicians to determine whether these physicians are included on their panels, and if so, question these physicians’ designation as panel providers.
IME Prep instructs Claimants to “be truthful” during an IME, but the program also provides basic knowledge of medical training to claimants and their counsel so that they can use it to their advantage. For example, a video posted on IME Prep’s website,, shows Dr. Barbour explaining to the viewer that when he sees a patient for an elbow injury, it is usually one of two types of injuries: (1) an overuse injury, or (2) a result of an acute trauma. Thus, IME Prep is providing a tutorial to claimants that their on-the-job elbow injuries need to fit into one of these two categories. In the event a claimant is faking an elbow injury, he will know after watching the IME Prep DVDs that he needs to pick one of these two categories of elbow injuries to allege when he is seen by a physician. The Claimant is also instructed as to what physicians do to see if someone is faking their symptoms.
We anticipate that Dr. Bendiks’ and Dr. Barbour’s involvement with IME Prep will prompt the State Board to thoroughly scrutinize their medical opinions in workers’ compensation claims. As a result, in the event that Dr. Bendiks and Dr. Barbour are involved in any of your claims (particularly in an IME setting), consider submitting the “IME Prep” DVDs as evidence at a hearing to discredit their medical opinions and/or request a change in physician. We imagine the State Board is not pleased with this “prep” DVD.

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