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October 21, 1992

Americans With Disabilities Act

Author Affiliations

Casa Colina Hospital for Rehabilitative Medicine Pomona, Calif

JAMA. 1992;268(15):2031. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490150083020

To the Editor.  —While Health and Human Services Secretary Dr Louis W. Sullivan1 provided a reasoned and impassioned plea for affirmative action in medical education by opening doors to members of racial and ethnic minority groups, he made no mention of opening these same doors to qualified applicants with disabilities.Sullivan pointed out that in 1990, when 12% of the nation's population was black, blacks accounted for only 5.9% of medical school graduates. Interestingly, while 13.7% of our population has a significant disability,2 a 1988 report shows that only 2.6% of physicians and 0.25% of medical students reported disabilities.3The Americans With Disabilities Act4 requires that medical schools not discriminate against applicants with disabilities as long as they meet educational requirements for admission and can perform the essential functions of a physician, with or without reasonable accommodations.I agree with Sullivan that "If we are to