Monday, November 22, 2010

Disabled medical students get help from the GMC

Medical schools are to receive updated guidance to ensure that disabled students do not face unnecessary barriers in pursuing a medical career.

Research has found that disabled students are under-represented in medical schools; in 2009, less than six per cent of medical students declared a disability1 compared to 19% of working-age adults in the UK2.

The General Medical Council has worked closely with representatives of medical schools and disability experts to review its guidance, Gateways to the Professions: Advising medical schools, encouraging disabled students, to improve the support available for disabled students wishing to access medical education.

Professor Jim McKillop, Chair of the GMC Undergraduate Board and a member of the working group which reviewed the guidance, said:

"It is really encouraging to see more individuals with a disability seeking entrance to medical school and schools making appropriate adjustments to accommodate their needs, as for many years unnecessary barriers have stopped them from pursing a medical career.

"Diversity in the medical profession is clearly beneficial to individuals, patients and the profession itself and there is no reason why, with the help of reasonable adjustments, more disabled students should not be able to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities through a medical career."

Read more here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Disabled but not disheartened

Last week, I met a physician who was disabled but certainly not disheartened. This individual was very motivated to find a non-clinical career and to apply medical knowledge to improve public health. What a great attitude!

If you're struggling with a disability, don't get discouraged. There are a number of resource and support groups that are available to help you. Also, you may discover some new ways to apply your skills and talents. You may want to read this story about a woman with cerebral palsy who is working and supporting her mother.