Medical Examinations Defined

Reference Number: 

A medical examination is any procedure or test that seeks information about a person's health.  The guidance on Pre-employment Questions and Medical Examinations lists the following seven factors that can be used to determine if a test is a medical examination.

  • Is the test administered by a health care professional?
  • Is the test analyzed/interpreted by a health care professional?
  • Is the test designed to reveal a physical impairment?
  • Is the test invasive?
  • Does the test measure employee's performance of a task or the physiological responses to performing the task?
  • Is the test normally given in a medical setting?
  • Is medical equipment used for the test?

Medical examinations include—

  • Vision tests,
  • Tests to check for genetic markers,
  • Blood pressure screening and cholesterol testing,
  • Nerve conduction tests,
  • Range-of-motion tests,
  • Pulmonary function tests,
  • Tests to check for mental disorder or impairment and
  • Diagnostic procedures.

Under the ADA the following tests are NOT considered medical examinations:

  • Drug tests.
  • Physical agility and fitness tests.
  • Reading tests to demonstrate the ability to perform job functions.
  • Psychological tests that measure personality traits.
  • Polygraph examinations.

Under the ADA, current supervisors may not pass on medical information about employees interviewing in a different department or for a different job. Current employees who apply for a new job within the same organization should be treated the same as other applicants for the job.