What if a colleague or you became disabled? What if a disabled physician applied for a position? Have you ever thought how hospitals and medical staff address these challenges? The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a person with a disability as someone who has a) physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities ... b) a record of such impairment or c) being regarded as having such an impairment.

Work disability is a specific category in which health conditions hamper a worker’s ability to engage in the complex interactions of the work environment. The literature regarding physician disability is limited, typically focusing on challenges entering and meeting requirements of medical school. However, many physicians become disabled later, and the literature does not address this population.

Approximately 2 percent of disabled...

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