Visitor Question

What can I do about doctor ordering me back to full duty?

Submitted By: Janice (Hilo, Hawaii)

I broke my 5th metacarpal at work on March 18, 2018. But I couldn’t get a doctor for 12 days. When I did, the doctor put a cast on for 2½ weeks, then removed it and made me go to work light duty for 2 weeks. Then after 2 weeks of light duty I was told to go back full duty.

I tried to ask the doctor questions concerning my hand but he just kept saying “I don’t know.” As he started to leave the office he said “full duty.”

I am nurse’s aide in a long term care. I have many total patients and by the end of my shift my hand is purple and extremely painful. I tried to find another doctor but no one wants to take me as a patient.

What am I to do? Living like this is hell. Please give me some direction as I have never been on workers comp, so like I said I don’t know what to do. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Janice,

In Hawaii, injured workers are permitted to select a doctor of their choice. You may obtain treatment from a physician of your choice who is practicing on the island you reside on.

However, some physicians elect not to treat patients with a work injury, which is the physician’s option. This is apparently happening to you. If your chosen physician chooses not to treat your work injury, then it is incumbent on you to choose a different physician.

You may change your attending physician once. If you can find another physician who is willing to treat you, you must notify your employer’s workers comp insurance company before making the change. Any other changes in physician require approval from your employer, or your employer’s insurance company.

If you are injured workers compensation should pay for the following:

  • Medical treatments for the injury
  • Hospital charges
  • Prescription drugs ordered by your doctor.
  • X-rays as prescribed
  • CT  Scans and MRIs
  • Physical therapy as ordered by your doctor
  • Reasonable transportation expense incidental to treatment (keep track of your expenses and mileage.)

For more information of Hawaii Workers Compensation go to the State of Hawaii Disability Compensation Division.

Learn more here: Returning to Work After an Injury

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

Best of luck with your claim,


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