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Compensation and Disability Assessment

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A concert pianist and a vice president of a major corporation have both suffered the loss of the second finger of the dominant hand. Which of the following statements is true regarding the condition of impairment or disability caused by the injury?

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(A) The concert pianist is more impaired than the vice president

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(B) The concert pianist and vice president are equally disabled

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(C) The concert pianist and vice president are both handicapped

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(D) The concert pianist is more disabled than the vice president

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(E) The concert pianist is more handicapped than the vice president

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(D) Both the concert pianist and the company vice president have impairment because of the loss of their digit. However, the concert pianist is significantly more disabled because the pianist will not be able to perform but the vice president will still be able to do the job. They are not significantly handicapped because they can still perform life's activities without the use of assistive devices or modification of the environment.

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Identify the true statement with regards to a physician's role in impairment and disability evaluation:

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(A) Determine impairment; provide medical information to assist in disability determination

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(B) Provide a disability rating which is binding on the administrative law judge for social security and disability

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(C) In State Worker's Compensation Law, a physician's role is limited to determining only disability, not impairment

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(D) The World Health Organization (WHO) has specifically defined the role of the physician in impairment and disability

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(E) Physician's role in impairment and disability determination is independent, without input from employer and without consideration to job duties

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(A) Physicians' role

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  1. As per the Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment—Determine impairment; provide medical information to assist in disability determination.

  2. As per Social Security Administration (SSA)—Determine impairment; may assist with the disability determination as a consultative examiner.

  3. As per State Workers' Compensation Law—Evaluation (rating) of permanent impairment is a medical appraisal of the nature and extent of the injury or disease as it affects an injured employee's personal efficiency in the activities of daily living, such as self-care, communication, normal living postures, ambulation, elevation, traveling, and nonspecialized activities of bodily members.

  4. As per WHO—Not specifically defined; assumed to be one of the decision makers in determining disability through impairment assessment.

  5. Disability is determined based on job requirements and needs.

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