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Lawsuit Asks If Doctors Should Be Accommodated for Disability

Posted on Sep 11, 2013

Michael Argenyi, 26, took a leave of absence from Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska, at the end of his second year in 2011.

School administrators will not allow him to use the services of an interpreter during clinical training, which created an intense hardship for Argenyi, who is now suing the university over the policy.

Argenyi paid more than $100,000 out of pocket over a two year period for an interpreter and transcription when the accommodations provided by the university proved to be insufficient. When clinical work started in his second year, the school refused to let him use an interpreter—even if he continued to pay for the service himself.

In an e-mail, Argenyi wrote, “I was embarrassed every time I would miss medicine names that I knew from classes but couldn’t understand when the patient or colleague spoke them.”

Argenyi’s ability to speak is one of Creighton’s key arguments. The university feels that Argenyi had previously been able to communicate effectively without an interpreter; they also emphasize that having an interpreter in practice could prove to be a dangerous liability if patients feel self-conscious about revealing private information in the presence of a third party.

Disability advocates, who are watching the case closely, feel that doctors with disabilities must receive the same level of accommodation as workers in other fields. Do you think that accommodations would interfere too much with proficient medical care—or would the insight of a doctor personally dealing with disability be a valuable asset to you as a patient?

If you need to know more about the Social Security disability claims process, talk to a North Valley disability attorney—don’t wait. Call 888-761-7383 or fill out the online contact form.

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Thomas Ledgerwood
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