15+ Year Member
- Apr 4, 2007
- Reaction score
Posted for a user. I don't know the answer but, there are some SDNers who probably do. Only responses that answer the questions raised will be posted. Also, as always, remember that legal advice should come from lawyers, not anonymous posters on a public website.
I'm currently a 2nd year medical student, and looking at my career options. I wasn't terribly interested in surgery prior to medical school, but now that I've seen some surgery I've become much more interested in pursuing it as a career, particularly neurosurgery, trauma, or orthopedics. The question is, I'm HIV positive. One of the reasons I'm posting on the anonymous forum is because of the ignorance I've encountered among many of my colleagues regarding the ramifications of HIV. I've tried to find some general guidelines which are at opposite ends of the spectrum: the CDC recommendations are from about 1991 (and hence HIV was still a death sentence) which say someone with HIV should basically be treated as a leper, and the American College of Surgeons has a statement that says HIV status "should not be used for any determinations of credentialing or privileging for surgical practice." The UK and Australia don't allow HIV+ healthcare workers to perform exposure prone procedures, such as surgery, and these statements are issued by the department of health. I looked at a couple of individual hospitals and neither of them force disclosure but offer testing, as they assume universal precautions will be followed, but they don't offer any specific guidance to infected individuals. There's one high-profile court case where a surgeon was fired because he's positive and the courts upheld the decision. Does anyone know what the current guidelines are, and what kind of barriers I might encounter should I choose to pursue surgery?