Younger: ‘Tales From a Working Man’s Shrink’| Employees Compensation Information

By Julius Young

Friday, April 2, 2021 | 31 | 0 | min read

Readers may be interested in reading a recently published book entitled “Wounded Workers: Tales of the Shrinking Worker”.

Julius Young

It was designed by longtime Bay Area QME / AME Dr. Bob Larsen wrote. Larsen, who has spent much of his career outside of San Francisco, was a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco and a past president of the California Society of Industrial Medicine and Surgery.

It is quite rare for a book to offer a QME perspective on California’s worker compensation system. Larsen gives us that, and provides compelling true stories from workers he has reviewed and treated over the years.

Many of the stories are tragic. Police officers who were shot. Victim of a helicopter crash. A roofer with hot tar. A worker who developed a movement disorder (tardive dyskinesia) from using antipsychotics. Burn victim. Delusional people. A worker raped with a gun. A tree fall amputee. A doctor who committed hari-kari. Stories of poultry killers and dead cow collectors.

Larsen offers a personable and wise perspective on what he saw:

“I have been blessed during my career as a psychiatrist for working people who have suffered physical injuries and emotional trauma at work. The challenges these fellow citizens faced were often formidable. My job is to help those in need receive the care they deserve. It should also encourage them not to give up, to persevere. When I do my job as an observer and coach, these brothers and sisters may see an opportunity where they have never seen a future before. “

He also notes that:

“Fortunately, a doctor’s career means you can always give something back, provided the work is taken seriously. Doctors are competitive professionals. They often have big egos. When they are at their best, focus fully on the person they hear, touch, and stand up for during the exam. In industrial psychiatry, our patients range from no previous contact with a psychiatrist to years of psychotherapy. They are immigrants and also Americans whose relatives fought in our civil war. Some are illiterate while others have advanced degrees. To be a successful work psychiatrist, one has to find common ground with the person who seeks relief from emotional stress. Walk a mile in this brother’s moccasins. «

Larsen’s book is worth reading and offers an insight into a QME’s journey through the system.

“Wounded Workers: Tales of the Shrinking Worker” can be ordered from Larsen’s website. It’s also available from

Julius Young is an attorney for candidates and an associate at Boxer & Gerson law firm of Oakland. This column was reprinted from his Workers Comp Zone blog on the company’s website with his permission.

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