Monday, December 30, 2013

Does your medical school have a Disability Officer?

Every medical school has an administrative department that deals with students who have disabilities. However, you may need to check with your medical school to see if it has a formal Disability Officer. In many schools, the Human Resources department handles issues pertaining to physical or learning disabilities.

At Mount Sinai, they have a Disability Officer and here is their description:
The Disability Officer works with all Icahn School of Medicine students in both the Medical School and the Graduate School to facilitate equal access for students with disabilities by coordinating reasonable accommodations through a variety of support services (ie: access modification, learning related technology, extended test times). 
The goal of Mount Sinai's Disability Services is to provide a physically and educationally accessible educational environment so that each student is viewed on the basis of ability, not disability. Individually designed accommodation plans and services are determined based on the documented needs of each student in conjunction with their program requirements and are created to match the specific disability-related need of each student with those program requirements in mind.
You can read more here.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Medical students with learning disabilities

What types of resources are available for medical students who have learning disabilities? There are not many published papers or studies evaluating various strategies to accommodate medical students in the United States. In Asian medical schools, public and professional awareness about learning disabilities remains low, supportive provisions are limited, legislations are inadequate, data are scarce, and equal-opportunity/widening-participation policies are not implemented effectively in the HE sector. Here is a 2010 paper discussing those issues in Asian countries:

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Statistics on the number of physicians with a disability

Unfortunately, there are no good statistics on the number of physicians with a disability. An American Medical News article from January 17, 2005 states:
Statistics on the number of physicians with a disability who are practicing medicine are scarce. A study published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, based on data from 1996, estimated that 0.2% of medical school graduates have disabilities.
The article goes on to say:
Most physicians who are practicing with a disability acquired that disability during their career. Despite the enactment of the American with Disabilities Act in 1990, which prohibits discrimination against a qualified applicant who has disabilities, few students with disabilities enter the profession. In part, this is because medical students must be able to perform the essential functions of being a doctor, and each school determines for itself what these criteria are.
We hope that in the near future, we will have more information so that we can have accurate statistics to reflect the number of physicians who have a disability.

You may wish to read this article from The University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts titled, "Doctors & Diversity: Disability Issues and U.S. Laws in Medicine."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Learning Disability Research Paper

A graduate student in Special Education at Virginia Commonwealth University is working on a research paper and is looking to interview a physician or medical student who has a learning disability. He is hoping to have a short interview, so if you are interested or available, please read more about this opportunity here in our members-only forum.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Aging Physician Population

Is old age a disability? A paper recently published in the Journal of Medical Regulation recommends that physicians at the age of 70 should undergo a mental and physical evaluation to assess whether they are still competent to practice medicine. You can read the paper here titled, "Approaching the Issue of the Aging
Physician Population."

Friday, May 24, 2013

Former medical and surgical residents from Dartmouth suing: disability discrimination

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center’s residency program is facing four lawsuits on the dismissal of residents. Each case involves alleged forms of discrimination or abuse that characterize the insular culture and favoritism that former residents claim permeates the program.

You can learn more about this here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Healthcare Careers for Workers with Disabilities

Don't miss this article on titled, "Healthcare Careers for Workers with Disabilities."  Major healthcare employers are finding ways to integrate workers with disabilities into their workforces. So, whether you are an aspiring healthcare worker or an established one, make sure to learn about your options and your ability to stay employed in healthcare.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The aging physician: AMA Senior Physicians Section (SPS)

The AMA Senior Physicians Section (SPS) is sponsoring a joint educational program at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates, "The Aging Physician: Opportunities and Challenges," in conjunction with the AMA Council on Science and Public Health, Council on Medical Education, Organized Medical Staff Section, Section on Medical Schools, Women Physicians Congress and Young Physicians Section.

The program will focus on understanding impairment in older physicians as well as facilitating the planning of prevention strategies. The session will examine what role the AMA should play in determining competency measurements in an aging workforce. This program is approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Learn more here.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Campaign for Disability Employment

The Campaign for Disability Employment is a collaborative effort between several disability and business organizations that seek to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities by encouraging employers and others to recognize the value and talent they bring to the workplace as well as the dividend to be realized by fully including people with disabilities at work. People with disabilities can and do make important contributions to America’s businesses every day. By implementing good workplace practices, like maintaining a flexible and inclusive work environment, businesses can capitalize on the talents of qualified people with disabilities, benefitting everyone.

The Campaign is a collaborative effort between several organizations that are working to raise awareness and change attitudes about disability and employment, including:
  • American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD);
  • National Business and Disability Council (NBDC);
  • Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
  • National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC);
  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM);
  • Special Olympics (SO); and
  • U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN).
The Campaign is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

Learn more here:

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Doctors with cancer

Over the years, there have been a number of stories published online about doctors who have undergone treatment for cancer.

NPR did a segment a number of years ago titled, "When Physicians Get Cancer."

In 2012, there was a story about Dr. Kate Granger, a 29-yr old doctor in the UK who writes how she became a better doctor as she battled metastatic ovarian cancer.

Sometimes, cancer treatment may leave the physician physically disabled. There are many ways to build a supportive community to help you battle cancer. Some people share their stories on social media sites like Facebook and reserve their private posts only for close friends and family. Others may use a website like Caring Bridge to share their stories with a select group of individuals.

Some will also leverage online patient communities like PatientsLikeMe to meet other individuals who have similar conditions and to learn from their experiences.

If you have cancer, you're not alone. Find others who are willing to support you through your journey. If you develop a disability, meet others who can help you navigate the path of working with a disability.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

When is a tremor a physical disability for a surgeon?

When is a tremor a physical disability for a surgeon? This is the topic of discussion this week in our members-only forum.

There are many types of non-surgical jobs for surgeons who develop a physical disability and lose their ability to perform surgery safely. You can find some of those jobs here.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Physicians with disabilities working as medical writers

Physicians with disabilities who still have the ability to work on computers may find jobs as medical writers. There are a variety of medical writing jobs ranging from regulatory writing, consumer health writing, and scientific medical education writing. Take a look at some of the medical writing jobs listed here.

Don't forget that there are assistive technologies that may make it easier for people with disabilities to use the computer.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Interested in tutoring medical students?

What if you could make some extra income from home?
Do you have any interest tutoring medical students?

If so, please fill out this form. We are in the process of collecting information from physicians who would like to spend some time working as tutors. We are currently looking for people who feel comfortable tutoring medical students prepare for the USMLE Step 1 exam.

Please fill out the tutoring form here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Physician Jobs in Medical Affairs

Physicians who have disabilities can often still work on computers. There are a variety of Medical Affairs jobs that may be suitable for physicians who are disabled from working in a clinical setting. Have you considered working in medical affairs?

Take a look at some of these Medical Affairs job descriptions.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Disability Equality Index (DEI) for physicians with disabilities

The AAPD (American Association of People with Disabilities) and USBLN (US Business Leadership Network) are working together to produce a corporate benchmarking tool on workplace policies and practices regarding the employment of people with disabilities.

The Disability Equality Index (DEI) will provide an objective way for companies to benchmark their progress and identify avenues for continued improvement. It will keep practitioners informed of best and emerging practices and point them toward peers in the employer community that are already demonstrating exemplary efforts.

The DEI will become a unique tool that will focus on building relationships and consensus with executives in the private sector to advance employment opportunities for people with disabilities throughout the workforce.

You can learn more about the DEI here.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Physicians and the Americans with Disabilities Act

What does the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have to say about Health Care Workers and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

You can read the EEOC’s Questions and Answers about Health Care Workers and the Americans with Disabilities Act here. You'll find answers to common questions like:
  • When is a health care worker an individual with a disability under the ADA?
  • Are health care applicants or employees who are alcoholics or who engage in illegal drug use considered to have a disability under the ADA?
  • What determines if a health care worker is “qualified” to perform a job within the meaning of the ADA?
  • What is a request for accommodation, and what should an employer and an individual with a disability do after a request for accommodation has been made?
  • Will an employer’s “light duty” program satisfy its obligation to make reasonable accommodations under the ADA?
  • and more
Health care is the largest industry in the American economy, and has a high incidence of occupational injury and illness. The ADA protects a qualified individual with a disability from disparate treatment or harassment based on disability, and also provides that, absent undue hardship, a qualified individual with a disability is entitled to reasonable accommodation to perform, or apply for, a job or to enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment. The ADA also includes rules regarding when, and to what extent, employers may seek medical information from applicants or employees. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the employment provisions of the ADA. Most states also have their own laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of disability. Some of these laws may apply to smaller employers and provide protections in addition to those available under the ADA.
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