This publication by the American Medical Association (AMA) provides a detailed review of the AMA guides to the evaluation of permanent impairment, 5th ed. (AMA5). These guides, which provide a systematic and highly descriptive methodology for rating impairment arising from illness or injury, have been adopted not only in many American states and other countries but also in many Australian compensation jurisdictions as a standard reference upon which state-specific guidelines have been designed. Medical practitioners are increasingly being requested to evaluate impairment for lawyers and insurance claims managers. This companion to the AMA guides is helpful to doctors as well as lawyers and claims managers in bridging the gap between medicine and the law.