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Apr022012

I. From Packard Thurber to AMA Guides Impairment - August 4, 2004

Understanding the evaluation and determination of permanent disability, it is important for the physician to keep in mind the difference between 'Impairment' and 'Disability.'
Impairment is a medical term. Disability is not.
As David C. Craddock points out, "The concepts of disability and impairment necessarily start with definitions. However, it is important to understand how these concepts relate to real-life situations."
As defined by the AMA Guidelines, Impairment is the loss of use or derangement of any body part, system or function. The definition of disability varies with the purpose and intellectual disciplines of the definers.
California has allowed for ratings for both specific and regional anatomic measurable impairment (objective) factors ratings. But the determination of these impairment ratings has always been incomplete.

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