Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Medical Schools' Willingness to Accommodate Medical Students with Sensory and Physical Disabilities

The following article was published in Oct 2016:

1: McKee M, Case B, Fausone M, Zazove P, Ouellette A, Fetters MD. Medical Schools' Willingness to Accommodate Medical Students with Sensory and Physical Disabilities: Ethical Foundations of a Functional Challenge to "Organic" Technical Standards. AMA J Ethics. 2016 Oct 1;18(10):993-1002. doi: 10.1001/journalofethics.2016.18.10.medu1-1610. PubMed PMID: 27780023.

Abstract

Students with sensory and physical disabilities are underrepresented in medical schools despite the availability of assistive technologies and accommodations. Unfortunately, many medical schools have adopted restrictive "organic" technical standards based on deficits rather than on the ability to do the work. Compelling ethical considerations of justice and beneficence should prompt change in this arena. Medical schools should instead embrace "functional" technical standards that permit accommodations for disabilities and update their admissions policies to promote applications from qualified students with disabilities. Medical schools thus should focus on what students with disabilities can do, rather than what they cannot do, because these students further diversify the health care profession and improve our ability to care for an expanding population of patients with disabilities.

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