Course description

This activity meets the criteria of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for 1 credit of Risk Management Study.

Please check your individual state licensing board requirements before claiming these credits.

Primary Care physicians are often requested to provide information on a patient’s fitness to return to work following injury or illness. U.S. primary care physicians report that they are requested to provide opinions regarding work ability or "fitness for duty," on average, in up to 10% of all office visits. However, very little training is routinely offered in medical or postgraduate education pertaining to the health effects of work and assessing work readiness. Both generalists and specialists report that dealing with sickness certification and work ability can be problematic, including potential conflict of interest between their best medical judgment and what their patients desire. Education in a structured approach to fitness to work assessment method can enhance physicians’ knowledge about work fitness assessments as well as their confidence in performing assessments. 

Currently there are resources and guidelines available for physicians regarding work fitness such as the American Medical Association publication Guides to the Evaluation of Work Ability and Return to Work and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) guidelines on Preventing Needless Work Disability by Helping People Stay Employed . A simple but systematic approach to fitness to work assessments is offered in this module to help facilitate the evaluation process and increase the consistency of clinical decisions. Essential fitness to work definitions such as impairment or restrictions are explained and utilized in the module for familiarization with basic clinical concepts used in evaluation work fitness.


Associated Schools

  • Harvard Medical School

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