Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to be a medical doctor to administer the SIMARD MD?
Physicians are one group of health care professionals who administer the SIMARD MD to patients. However, other health care professionals (nurses, LPNs, psychologists, occupational therapists, etc.) also can and do administer the SIMARD MD. Other personnel may be trained to administer the SIMARD MD as well. We have developed short (~2 minutes) online videos to assist in training on the administration and scoring of the SIMARD MD.
Do all patients need a SIMARD MD?
No. The SIMARD MD was developed to assist the medical and driver licensing communities to assist in the identification of cognitively impaired drivers. Patients with health conditions that do not affect cognitive functioning (or treatments for those conditions) do not need the SIMARD MD administered. Patients who do not drive do not need to have a SIMARD MD.
What is English is not the patient's first language?
The SIMARD MD was developed on patients who were fluent in English. Further research is needed on patients who are not fluent in English to determine if the relationship between the SIMARD MD scores and driving assessment outcome holds.
If a patient can't write in English, can numbers be written in another language?
If the individual administering the SIMARD MD (or the patient's physician) is fluent in the language that is used to write the numbers, that individual can interpret the answer and determine if the conversion from numbers to words is accurate, with the appropriate scoring assigned.
How do you handle clinical judgement (i.e., the patient appears okay to drive but fails the SIMARD MD)?
The goal of the SIMARD MD is to assist physicians in assessing competency to drive in the clinical setting. The SIMARD MD cut-points for decision making about driving competency in the clinical setting are based on research using pass/fail on a scientifically based driving assessment as the outcome. That research has been validated on a large sample of cognitively impaired and cognitively intact drivers. If the patient is fluent in English and fails the SIMARD MD, the recommendation is to send the patient for a driving evaluation for determination of driving competency.
If we administer the SIMARD MD each year at the driver's medical, is there the chance that the patient will do better each year due to repetition (i.e., are there learning effects)?
Results from our research indicate that learning did not occur with subsequent administration of the SIMARD MD over short intervals (e.g., three hours) and longer intervals (e.g., three months). Thus, the probability of learning effects occurring over an even longer period of time is very low.
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