Commentary: Balancing Responsibility to Patients and Responsibility to Aspiring Physicians With Disabilities
Melnick, Donald E
Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges 2011 Jun; 86(6): 674-6
In 2008, Congress amended the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to relax court-imposed limitations on evidence required to warrant protection under the ADA. Since passage of the ADA in 1990, medicine has focused not on evaluating the types of accommodations that would best balance the interests of individuals with disabilities, institutions, and patients but, rather, on the question of whether individuals seeking protection under the law qualify for disability accommodations at all. The medical profession should refocus on the nature of accommodations provided to those with disabilities. In doing so, the intent to support disabled persons seeking careers in medicine must be balanced with ethical obligations to protect patient welfare. Medical schools, graduate medical education programs, licensing and certifying authorities, and assessment organizations should work together to establish evidence-based minimum criteria for the physical and cognitive capabilities required of every physician.
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