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Physicians in Industry

The WSMA believes that where a physician's services are limited to pre-employment physical examinations or examinations to determine if an employee who has been ill or injured is able to return to work, no physician-patient relationship exists between the physician and those individuals. However, the information obtained by the physician should not be communicated to a third party without the individual's prior written consent, unless it is required by law. (Reaffirmed A-17)

The WSMA believes that a physician-patient relationship does exist when a physician renders treatment to an employee, even though the physician is paid by the employer. If the employee's illness or injury is work-related, the release of medical information as to the treatment provided to the employee may be subject to the provisions of worker's compensation laws. (JC 5.10-87) (Reaffirmed A-17)

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Abbreviations for House of Delegates report origination:

EC – Executive Committee; BT – Board of Trustees; CPA – Council on Professional Affairs; JC – Judicial Council; CHS – Community and Health Services

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