Mar 30, 2009

Dr. Gunnar Andersson

Gunnar B.J. Andersson is one of the members of Social Security's Occupational Information Development Advisory Panel I had written earlier that it appeared that he had no background to prepare him for service on the Panel. That may have been the appearance from the brief biography posted by Social Security, but a couple of people e-mailed me about Dr. Andersson's background. He is the editor of the most recent edition of the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment and the co-author of Disability Evaluation.

However, I still think this Panel's work is likely to be almost entirely new to him. Assigning percentages of disability or saying that someone is limited to "Sedentary Work" is quite different from determining whether there actually are unskilled sedentary jobs remaining in the U.S. economy. My experience is that physicians have trouble with the very idea of non-medical aspects being considered in determining disability.

1 comment:

Nancy Ortiz said...

I agree with your remarks regarding doctors' approach to DIB determinations. They deal with medical issues not practical "can s/he hold down a job" stuff. One thing I noticed was the absence of cultural variants of common psychological disorders in the reports of consultative exams for members of minorities (esp. women). Without going into all kinds of boring detail, manifestations of depression, mania, personality disorders, and so on are quite different in Latin and Asian societies than in Western societies.

In my experience, this strongly influences the percentage of allowances for older Latin women with depression, for example, versus Latin men of the same age with physical impairments and limited education/English language proficiency. Psych consultatives are superficial enough for English speakers from this country, but ones conducted with a foreign national through an interpreter are even less complete.

As you have mentioned here before, it would definitely be better for experienced DIB claimants' representatives, DIB examiners, and people with working knowledge of the DIB decision process to be involved in this discussion. This panel should be coming up with practical findings we can acually implement, not abstract statements of desirable goals or policy positions.