David J. Fischer, M.D. is an experienced clinical psychiatrist with broad experience in forensic psychiatry. He has an added qualification in the psychiatric subspecialty of Forensic Psychiatry. Dr. Fischer trained in psychiatry at the National Institutes of Mental Health. He has 45 years of clinical and forensic experience in the field of psychiatry. He is a senior attending in psychiatry on the staff at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. Dr. Fischer is an active clinician and maintains a full time practice in general psychiatry. He has extensive hospital and outpatient experience in clinical psychiatry. Dr. Fischer evaluates and treats adults, families and couples.
Dr. Fischer is a recognized expert in psychopharmacological evaluation and treatment and is a member of advisory panels and speakers’ programs of many major pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Fischer consults and performs diagnostic assessment and evaluations of patients. He has evaluated and treated patients in hospitals, clinics and out-patient settings. He has also taught psychiatric diagnostics and treatment to residents in psychiatry and post-doctoral psychologists at Saint Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, DC.
In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Fischer has added experience in Forensic Psychiatry. He is an independent psychiatric evaluator and expert witness. He is an active member of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.
Forensic psychiatrists are trained to understand the legal issues related to psychiatric disorders. A forensic psychiatrist is a physician who has the requisite clinical experience and academic achievement to integrate clinical experience, knowledge of medicine, mental health, neurosciences and legal issues to form an independent, objective medical opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty for his clients. Dr. Fischer communicates his expert opinions effectively through a written report, or in a deposition, or in courtroom testimony, in a language that the courts and attorneys can understand. The purpose of these opinions is to identify and clarify the psychiatric aspects of a legal situation.
Occupational Psychiatry focuses on the evaluation and treatment of patients with workplace injuries, particularly within the Worker's Compensation arena. Psychiatric evaluations are needed in claims of psychological injury.
In the workplace, an occupational/forensic psychiatrist may be asked to consider whether a claimed disability, (a chronic general illness, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a chronic pain syndrome, such as Fibromyalgia, or a mental disorder, such as Depression, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a valid disability and work stress-related. It includes the evaluation and treatment of patients with workplace injuries, which have a psychological component.
The Independent Psychiatric Evaluation (IME) is conducted either for the plaintiff or defense attorneys. Over the years, Dr. Fischer's professional services have been evenly divided between plaintiffs and defendants in legal matters. Dr. Fischer performs comprehensive independent psychiatric evaluations for the assessment of mental disorders and the determination of psychiatric disability, major depressive disorders, posttraumatic stress disorders, psychiatric damages in personal injury cases, and the psychiatric consequences that may result from physical injury due to motor vehicle accidents and assaults. Dr. Fischer specializes in Fitness for Duty Evaluations (FFDE). These are conducted for employers, EAP's, agencies, and professional licensing boards in order to evaluate occupational competence.
The work product includes evaluation, consultation, reports, and expert testimony. He specializes in the comprehensive assessment of occupational competence. Dr. Fischer integrates his extensive clinical experience and his knowledge of medicine, psychiatry and the law to develop independent objective opinions to help clients make informed administrative decisions as well as to serve as an expert witness. Dr. Fischer not only has the knowledge to evaluate claimants for disability but the ability to frame the report in a way that the evaluators of claims can find useful in making their determination according to the laws that establish the requirements for awards of disability. The evaluations are sufficiently comprehensive to serve as a basis for subsequent deposition testimony or courtroom testimony if required.
From 1970 to the present, Dr. Fischer has examined several thousand individuals. His professional services have been evenly divided between plaintiffs and defendants in legal matters.
As an expert witness, Dr. Fischer has the skill and ability to effectively evaluate plaintiffs or defendants, review and evaluate pertinent records, conduct psychiatric interviews, and write reports providing diagnoses, opinions, and medical-legal conclusions.
The psychiatrist who is evaluating claimants for disability has to be aware not only of the psychiatric data, but of the need to frame it in a way that the evaluators of claims can find useful in making their determination according to the laws that establish the requirements for awards of disability.
The written report (IME) is frequently used as part of the comprehensive process used by insurance companies, corporations and lawyers to determine the validity of claims for psychiatric disability and or psychiatric damages. The FFDE is used by employers, agencies, and professional licensing boards to establish an individuals ability to safely and effectively perform the essential functions of their job or profession.