Medical Examination

By: Brian Barrett | Reviewed by Brian BarrettCheckmark

What Does Medical Examination Mean?

A medical examination, also known as a physical examination, refers to a standard health procedure to assess vital signs including blood pressure, body temperature, pulse rate, and respiration. However, other physiological variables such as fitness levels, physical capacity and stamina, and psychological soundness fall into the categorical umbrella of medical examination parameters.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Medical Examination

Since most employers uphold health and safety policies, a medical examination of incoming recruits pending a pre-employment offer helps to determine if potential candidates can meet job performance standards. However, employers must recognize and adhere to legal boundaries that distinguish between a legitimate medical examination that conforms to the nature of a job and baseless ineligibility. Incidentally, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal mandate that serves to protect individuals against discrimination where perceived biases toward age, gender, or race can influence medical examination results.

As part of a medical examination, employers may require drug testing via the collection of hair, saliva, urine, or sweat specimens, often reflecting the line of work where the party(s) in question occupy a safety-sensitive position. When setting medical examination guidelines, employers must follow an across-the-board testing protocol for all applicants imparting neutral grounds to avoid liability suits. Moreover, employers are obligated to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities who are otherwise capable of performing essential job tasks through modified equipment or workstations without imposing an undue hardship.

While a medical examination is a viable avenue to employers in promoting a healthy and safe workforce, it is imperative to ensure consistency within the framework of job-related functions. Additionally, employees have a mutual responsibility for interpreting their ADA rights if their physical condition is subject to a medical examination discrepancy.


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