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The Impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act on Family Physicians

Matson CC, Holleman WL, Nosek MA, Wilkinson W. The impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act on family physicians. Archives of Family Practice 1993;36(1):1-6.


The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, government services, public accommodations, public transportation, and telecommunications. This article reviews the impact of the law on the practice of family physicians. Pre-employment medical evaluations are prohibited by law, but medical evaluations may be performed after an offer of employment and before job assignment has been made. Employment may be conditional on results only if medical confidentiality is protected, and exclusionary criteria are job related, applied universally, and do not discriminate against individuals with disabilities. The law provides that persons with disabilities will have equal access to medical care, through prohibiting discrimination based on disability and through the design and construction of medical offices. The law requires physicians who are covered by the law to make reasonable accommodations so that qualified employees and applicants can perform the essential functions of a job.

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