Interviews for medical evaluations usually begin with the clinician introducing himself or herself followed by:
- Explanation of the purpose of the evaluation
- Reviewing the conditions of the evaluation, i.e.
- Independence of the evaluator
- Confidentiality of the clinician’s findings and limits thereof
- Right to refuse answering questions
- Importance of detail and accuracy of information
- Acknowledge likely difficulty of recalling certain events
- Ability to take breaks
- Access to refreshments and toilet facilities
- Statement on the overall content of the interview including: detailed questions on events before during and after the alleged torture, followed by a physical examination, should this be the case, and the possibility of photographs
- Discussing the likely benefits and risks of the evaluation
- Addressing any questions or concerns that the individual may have
- Obtaining consent to proceed with the evaluation.
For forensic evaluations, the clinician should establish the identity of the subject. As previously mentioned, law enforcement officials should not be present during the evaluation. If such officials refuse to leave the examination room, it should be noted in the clinician’s report or and/or the evaluation may be cancelled.
When the medical evaluation is being conducted by more than one clinician, i.e. one for physical evidence and another for psychological evidence, the content of the interview should focus on the information most relevant to their expertise.