Yes, you can go to your own doctor for workers comp in Wisconsin. In Wisconsin workers compensation claims, the employer or workers compensation insurance company can not direct your medical care. As the injured worker you are entitled to two choices of a treating physician. However, when you start with one doctor, all the referrals from that doctor and the doctors the referral doctors send you to, all these physicians are still under your first choice. Its only when you on your own pick a new doctor that it counts as one of your two choices.
For example, say I hurt my back at work while lifting and turning, and go to an emergency room in a hospital. The ER physician examines me, order x-rays, prescribes some medication and says I should follow up my own doctor if my back doesn’t improve. After a few days, I go to see my primary care physician who takes me off work and orders a lumbar MRI. My low back pain is still bad, but now I also have pain going down my leg, the doctor calls this radicular pain, my aunt called it sciatica. My primary care doctor sends me to an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in low back injuries. The bone specialist orders a nerve test called an EMG/NCV to be done by a different doctor, a neurologist. The nerve test confirms what the MRI shows, that a herniated disc in my lumbar is impinging my sciatic nerve causing the pain and numbness down my leg. The orthopedic surgeon tells me I need surgery. I want a second opinion, so the orthopedic doctor refers me to a neurosurgeon down the hall who confirms that I should have a surgery, maybe a discectomy but probably a lumbar fusion. I don’t like these answers so I ask my brother-in-law, and he refers my to his pain doctor. The pain doctor, says I need injections and medication, maybe some physical therapy. I try the therapy, it doesn’t work, and I schedule the surgery. In this example, I have used up my own doctor for workers comp two choices under Wisconsin law.
In addition, the workers compensation insurance company can send me to their IME doctor, but this is for evaluation only, not treatment.
McCormick Law Office workers compensation attorneys in Milwaukee, Wisconsin have successfully proved at hearing that long lists of treating doctors are all within the same referring tree from the original treating physician making the workers comp carrier responsible for all the bills. There are proposals at times in the Wisconsin legislature to limit an injured worker’s medical choices and our attorneys actively lobby against them and in support of worker’s rights.