How Doctors with Disabilities Improve Patient Care

Approximately 20 percent of Americans have some sort of disability, but as few as 1-2 percent of doctors do (1, 2). Moreover, most of these doctors became disabled after completing training (2). Only about 1,500 medical school students in the U.S. are currently receiving accommodations for a disability (3). University websites indicate that they aren’t exactly leaping at the opportunity to increase representation, either: two-thirds lack explicit statements on accommodating medical students with disabilities (2). In an article for Slate, Nathan Kohrman calls disabled medical students “one of the most underrepresented groups in American higher education” (1). Doctors as Superhumans: Why People with Disabilities Have Been Excluded from the Medical Profession “Historically, doctors have been viewed as superhumans, operating at the highest physical and mental capacity at all hours of the day and night, performing miracles and saving lives,” notes Elana…

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