Health Professionals with Disabilities: Motivating Inclusiveness and Representation, Oct 16 – AMA Journal of Ethics

Introduction to the October 2016 issue on health professionals with disabilities. AMA Journal of Ethics is a monthly bioethics journal published by the American Medical Association.

Source: Health Professionals with Disabilities: Motivating Inclusiveness and Representation, Oct 16 – AMA Journal of Ethics

Health Professionals with Disabilities: Motivating Inclusiveness and Representation

Medical schools seeking to increase representation of minorities in the profession have sought to improve matriculation and graduation rates of racial and ethnic minorities [1]. But one minority group whose needs remain neglected in the medical field is persons with disabilities.

Although 18.7 percent of the US population [2, 3] and up to 8.9 percent of US residents aged 18 to 24 self-identify as having at least one disability [4], less than 1 percent of medical students have disabilities known to school administrators. A study published in 2012 found that since 2001, only 0.56 percent of matriculating and 0.42 percent of graduating medical students have physical or sensory disabilities [5]. These data suggest that persons with physical, cognitive, or sensory disabilities face significant hurdles in entering, continuing, and completing training in health professional fields. Furthermore, physicians who develop disabilities after completing their training can have difficulty obtaining accommodations from their employers and consequently leave clinical practice for administrative, teaching, or corporate positions that do not require direct patient care, preventing patients with disabilities from benefiting from the experiences of physicians intimately familiar with the process of adapting their activities of daily living.

The goal of this issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics® is to discuss the importance of increasing representation of people with disabilities in the medical field and to outline some of the obstacles that health professionals and trainees encounter in pursuing or continuing medical practice.

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Prevalence of Self-Disclosed Disability in US Allopathic Medical Students | Medical Education and Training | JAMA | The JAMA Network

Studying the performance of medical students with disabilities requires a better understanding of the prevalence and categories of disabilities represented.1- 4 It remains unclear how many medical students have disabilities; prior estimates are out-of-date and psychological, learning, and chronic health disabilities have not been evaluated.5 This study assessed the prevalence of all disabilities and the accommodations in use at allopathic medical schools in the United States.

Source: Prevalence of Self-Disclosed Disability in US Allopathic Medical Students | Medical Education and Training | JAMA | The JAMA Network

Empowering medical students with disabilities: The student perspective – Herzer – 2016 – Disability Compliance for Higher Education – Wiley Online Library

Source: Empowering medical students with disabilities: The student perspective – Herzer – 2016 – Disability Compliance for Higher Education – Wiley Online Library

Medical school can be a stressful and high-stakes experience. For medical students with disabilities, that experience may be even more stressful as students navigate the accommodations process, worry about possible discrimination if they disclose their disabilities, and fear being viewed as inferior compared to their peers. Disability services providers play a vital role in supporting students through the medical school experience.

MU medical students’ complaints describe humiliation, discrimination | Higher Education | columbiamissourian.com

MU medical students’ complaints describe humiliation, discrimination

Source: MU medical students’ complaints describe humiliation, discrimination | Higher Education | columbiamissourian.com

COLUMBIA — Matt Darrough didn’t take a traditional path to the MU School of Medicine.

When he applied in November 2013, he was 43 and working full time as a lawyer. He was also preparing to have his legs amputated below the knee and get prosthetics. An accident years earlier had left him paralyzed from the knees down.

Darrough was worried that his age and disability would make medical school more difficult, but in his interview, the chief of surgery said he was exactly the type of student the school was seeking. The admissions committee wanted greater diversity, including students like Darrough with no background in science.

Three years later, Darrough dropped out, frustrated with what he described as constant bullying, a lack of accommodation of his disability and an overall hostile environment.

He filed a complaint — one of 15 filed by students against the medical school in the past two years, according to documents requested by the Missourian in September and obtained Dec. 8 through a Sunshine Law request. Most of the complaints involved public humiliation, and others described experiences of gender discrimination.

The Missourian obtained medical students’ reports of mistreatment from September 2014 to present through a Sunshine Law request. The following are selections of students’ narratives.

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Moving From Disability to Possibility | Humanities | JAMA | The JAMA Network

Source: Moving From Disability to Possibility | Humanities | JAMA | The JAMA Network

When I was in the first grade, an astute teacher noticed that I had trouble seeing the blackboard. This finding was quickly confirmed by a vision test. Formal evaluation by an ophthalmologist revealed that I had a rare degenerative retinal disease. Worse than that diagnosis was the ophthalmologist’s devastating prognosis for my life: attending college would be very challenging, sports and certain activities would be difficult or impossible, and it was unlikely that I would ever have a professional career.

Doctor’s care is a balance of skill, empathy for Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine student : Augusta Free Press

Source: Doctor’s care is a balance of skill, empathy for Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine student : Augusta Free Press

Alyssa Savelli has wanted to be a doctor for as long as she can remember. “When I was 5, I would just sit and watch Discovery Health Channel and watch open heart surgery.”

A learning disability as a child made Savelli second-guess her dreams. “As I worked with special tutors, I got over it, but it wore on my confidence for a long time. I still worried that medicine would be too hard for me.”

A life-altering illness in her family caused her to refocus on her early dream. During her freshman year at Virginia Tech, Savelli’s father was diagnosed with acoustic neuroma, a brain tumor that impacts a nerve that runs from the ear to the brain. Along with numerous doctors’ appointments, he had to undergo complicated surgery to remove the tumor.

“Through that period, I noticed what makes a good doctor,” Savelli said, in particular noting the work of Rafael Tarmargo, a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Medicine who performed her dad’s surgery. “Despite the fact that Dr. Tamargo was a brilliant surgeon and he is really busy, he was also very empathetic. Whenever my dad came in, he would ask how everyone else in the family was doing by name.”

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National League for Nursing Publishes Vision for Achieving Meaningful Inclusion in Nursing Education

National League for Nursing Publishes Vision for Achieving Meaningful Inclusion in Nursing Education

Calls on Nursing Education Community to Lead Efforts to Expand Diversity Among Faculty and Students

Achieving Diversity and Meaningful Inclusion in Nursing Education A Living Document from the National League for Nursing

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February 2016

Lessons in Increasing Access to Care: Symposium at Rush brings together disability and health care leaders

https://www.rush.edu/news/lessons-increasing-access-care

By Kevin McKeough, Anne Burgeson & Kathleen Ziemer

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan observed that “at almost any moment, any of us could be living with a disability, whether through our life circumstances or as we age. This is an issue that is personal to all of us, whether we realize it our not.”

Madigan the was the featured speaker at the Rush ADA 25 Symposium, held on Oct. 6 at Rush University Medical Center. The event celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, which became law on July 26, 1990.

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White Paper on Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in Nursing Educational Programs for the California Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (CCEPD)

A White Paper on Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in Nursing Educational Programs is available on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) website. This paper also presents a new model of technical standards inclusive of all students with and without  disabilities

White Paper on Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in Nursing Educational Programs
for the California Committee on Employment of  People with Disabilities (CCEPD)

Nurses  are  challenged  to  fill  the  new  and  expanded  roles  for  a  health  care  system  designed  to improve the quality  of  health  care.  Despite  the  unique  perspective  and  set  of  skills  that students and health professionals with disabilities have to address many of these challenges, people  with  disabilities  are  often effectively  excluded from  the  nursing  profession. The purposes of this white paper are to 1) frame the issues that prevent applicants with disabilities from entering nursing education and the nursing profession and 2) propose the changes necessary to engage the potential of people with disabilities to enhance nursing leadership and innovation  necessary  to transform  health  care.  Major  barriers  include  the  following: 1) outmoded admission standards that deter applicants with disabilities; 2) misconceptions about the capacity of students with disabilities to function effectively in the clinical components of nursing education; and, 3) lack of a comprehensive understanding of issues related to patient safety. This paper begins with an historical overview of the journey toward the acceptance of nurses with disabilities, including civil rights legislation, judicial rulings with reference to specific landmark cases, and the development of current technical and educational standards. The paper also presents a new model of technical standards inclusive of all students with and without  disabilities, along with recommendations  supportive  of  students with  disabilities  in admission, matriculation and graduation from nursing programs.

Additional Resources

  1. A New Model of Technical Standard for Nursing Education Programs

  2. White Paper on Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in Nursing Educational Programs

  3. ADA Amendments Act and Accommodations

Citation
Marks, B & Ailey, S. A. (2014) White Paper on Inclusion of Students with Disabilities in Nursing Educational Programs. Sacramento, CA: California Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (CCEPD).