My md told my new employer I'm bipolar

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    Profile photo of Butterfly74

    Help I just got hired for a new job. When I went to MD to get medical clearance she wrote that I am being treated for bipolar depression that is treated with medication. Can she tell them that? She says she did it because if I ever have an issue they can come back and say you didn’t warn us. I’m afraid they are going to tell me no job now. Did my md break hippa by writing that on my letter to my employer?


    Hi Butterfly74,

    I’ll make the obligatory disclaimer that I am not an attorney or physician!

    That being said, I doubt this is a HIPPA violation. I’m assuming you consented to the examination and subsequent report for the purpose of medical clearance as a term of your candidacy for employment. Medical clearance is not limited to the physical. Mental health is another aspect of it. Any health issue, physical or psychiatric, that may effect your ability to perform the job has to be addressed.

    I am assuming again that you have an existing diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. In that case the physician would, of course, include this in the report. That should not cause offense. As you noted, she also reported it was controlled. Untreated Bipolar Disorder could potentially interfere with one’s ability to perform typical nursing duties just as hypertension, heart disease, or any number of other conditions could. But if these conditions are controlled it should be a non issue.

    If you have never been diagnosed and the physician is making that diagnosis based on a brief, routine visit for pre-employment medical clearance, that is another matter. Or if you do not get the job and have some evidence that this decision was based wholly or in part on the fact that you have a psychiatric diagnosis, you may want to consult an attorney regarding how to proceed.

    I hope this is helpful and wish you the best!

    (dba Matt the Hillbilly)

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