C07 – Academy Update Course with CAPL: Guidelines to Enhance Standards and Avoid Disasters in Independent Medical Examinations

C07 – Academy Update Course with CAPL: Guidelines to Enhance Standards and Avoid Disasters in Independent Medical Examinations

Friday, Oct. 28
14:30 – 16:30 (2 hrs)
Meeting Room: Maple (Mezzanine)
Lisa Ramshaw*, MD, DPhil, FRCPC; Brad Booth, MD, FRCPC, DABPN (Forensic Psychiatry); Jeffrey Waldman, MD, FRCPC

CanMEDS Roles:

  1. Leader
  2. Medical Expert
  3. Professional

At the end of this session, participants will be able to: 1) Understand the requirements of conducting independent medical evaluations (IMEs), the process and content of the assessment and report, and how to use guidelines to enhance standards; 2) Become aware of potential ramifications of writing IME reports and develop strategies to critique IMEs — including your own reports; and 3) Apply a standardized approach to disability assessments in Canada, including communicating with professionals and writing effective reports.

The Canadian Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (CAPL) is publishing a series of ten Canadian Guidelines for Forensic Psychiatry Assessment and Report Writing, covering the main areas of practice in criminal and civil forensic psychiatry. This course will draw on the General Principles and Disability Assessments to review independent medical examinations (IMEs) in civil psychiatry, the expected standards and potential pitfalls, and an approach to disability assessments. The aim is to be practical and, in addition to covering the fundamentals of IMEs and disability assessments, help participants understand approaches to enhancing standards of practice. This section describes the motivations for the various types of offending, which may be relevant to the risk assessment (for example, whether a paraphilic disorder drove the offending) and could include formulating the factors and contexts that might have played a role.

The course comprises four parts:
Part 1, “What can go wrong in IMEs,” will examine IMEs’ potential “disasters” (college complaints, litigation, etc.).
Part 2, “Overview of IME requirements,” will review third-party reports, the expected standards, what is required to conduct such assessments, and the state of education for such evaluations in Canada.
Part 3, “Using the Guidelines for Disability Assessments and Report Writing,” will apply the noted Guidelines, including an overview, in the assessment of disability and report preparation.
Part 4 will review an IME case for attendees to consider and critique.


  1. The Ten Canadian Guidelines for Forensic Psychiatry Assessment and Report Writing will be e-published and available on the CAPL website at https://www.capl-acpd.org/ in 2022. The Guidelines specific to this course include The Canadian Guidelines Forensic Assessment and Report Writing: General Principles and Disability Assessments. The Guidelines were developed by the Steering Committee (Lisa Ramshaw, Treena Wilkie, Sumeeta Chatterjee, Graham Glancy, Todd Tomita), and the National Working Group (Todd Tomita, Alberto Choy, Mansfield Mela, Jeffrey Waldman, Richard Schneider, Brad Booth, Jocelyne Breault, Mathieu Dufour, Aileen Brunet, and Lisa Ramshaw).
  2. Booth BD, Watts J, Chaimowitz G. Third-party assessments/independent medical evaluations. Can J Psychiatry 2021;66:323–7.