Following a workplace injury, most railroads require an injured employee to be examined by a physician on the railroad’s staff or by an outside doctor with whom it has a contractual relationship. Your interaction with this doctor should be limited to determining whether you are physically approved to return to work. You do not have to rely on any other advice or treatment recommendations from the company doctor. Remember, the company doctor works for the railroad, not for you. You do not have a physician/patient relationship with the company doctor, and any medical reports generated by the company doctor will automatically be provided to the railroad.
Your own doctor, on the other hand, has a confidential relationship with you. If you seek medical advice from an independent physician, you can instruct him/her not to discuss your treatment with the railroad. You should rely on your own doctor’s advice when deciding the best option to treat your injury, not on someone who will also consider what is best for the railroad.
If the railroad interferes with your right to seek treatment from your own physician, you may have a claim under the Federal Rail Safety Act (FRSA).