Certain criteria must be present before a legitimate doctor and patient relationship can be said to exist.



(1) The patient has a medical problem or complaint.

(2) The doctor takes a medical history from the patient.

(3) The doctor performs a physical examination on the patient.

(4) The doctor makes a diagnosis and determines an appropriate therapy for the patient.

(5) The complaint, history, physical findings, diagnosis and therapy share a logical connection (make sense).


Special situations:

(1) A Medical Review Officer (MRO) operating under Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations does not have a doctor-patient relationship when verifying a drug test result, in theory because diagnosis is not performed.

(2) A patient evaluation performed by a doctor over the Internet or other means of communication may not be legitimate if a physical examination has not been performed.


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