Patients would benefit if medical schools included more people with disabilities.

“Including doctors with disabilities can benefit patients, health workers, and society.” This is one of the findings of a study recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), the medical association’s journal. Canadian, and which highlights the importance of setting requirements and flexible study plans, but not only because it is fair to the group of people with disabilities, but because, if this is not done, students who would otherwise go on to become excellent professionals Maybe, they are left behind.

Researchers reviewed access admissions policies at all English-speaking Canadian medical schools in the past year. They concluded that these schools “systematically exclude” through factors such as “a culture of stereotypes and ableism, inflexible admissions criteria, and lack of information about accommodations that contribute to the problem.” For example, they require high amounts of attendance that do not include absences due to disability.

But, in addition, barriers were also found that prevent those who cannot perform specific exercises from continuing their studies. For example, to assist deaf people it is necessary to be able to hear the heartbeat with a stethoscope without considering the possibility of a sign language interpreter. Or, on the other hand, it believes that a doctor should be able to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which excludes those who have a motor disability and cannot practice it, but those who have the knowledge can do it. Can reach an assistant.

In this way, common technical standards deny students access to fields in which they can excel, the study highlights.

“We’re not just saying that we should admit students with illnesses and disabilities because it’s fair for them, but rather that these students actually have strengths that are transferable to patient care and leadership positions in hospitals. But keeping them will benefit society as a whole,” he told Shira Gertsman on the site cbc hamilton,

He is one of the study’s authors and is in his final year of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton. However, some time ago he got the suggestion to choose another professional path when he noticed that he was only taking certain subjects. The reason? You have Crohn’s disease, which causes inflammation of the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.


The study details a series of suggestions for making medical schools more inclusive.

  • Create guidelines for accessibility and inclusion of students with disabilities.
  • Review some requirements, such as having a full course load, so that students with disabilities are not disadvantaged, and revise the wording of technical standards to clarify options.
  • Publish accessibility options for applicants and have trained professionals who are not part of the application process handle questions about accommodations.
  • Improve representation of people with disabilities in medicine.
  • Maintain data on the prevalence and experiences of medical students with disabilities.

Above all, the authors suggest “approaching the approach with creativity, openness, and a willingness to change.” The report concludes, “Admissions processes are an important step toward increasing the representation of people with disabilities and eradicating ableism in medical culture.”

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