Disabilities in the Health Professions

In recent years there has been a significant uptick in the admission of students with disabilities to health profession programs.  Read this article which debunks common misconceptions, misinformation and myths about pre-medical students with disabilities.  Also see this AAMC report, which outlines promising practices for medical schools and teaching hospitals to create a supportive and inclusive learning environment.  UM Medical School is particularly welcoming to applicants with disabilities.  See some inspiring stories and  University of Michigan Medical School Technical Standards.

Testing agencies regularly offer accommodations to qualified applicants.  Students should familiarize themselves with the required documentation and the application procedures and allow ample time for review of their request.  For example, MCAT accommodation requests can take 60 days to review.  If a student does not agree with the decision, it can take another 30 days to appeal so students should apply at least 90 days in advance.  See info below to request accommodations for major entrance exams to health professions programs:

See the resources compiled by the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education for articles, books, support, and research projects.

Need a little inspiration?  See narratives by students with disabilities in Twitter campaigns such as  #DocsWithDisabilities and #NursesWithDisabilities, and AAMC’s Inspiring Stories blog, with many categories, including “breaking through barriers” and “overcoming illness.”  See also the Docs With Disabilities Podcast.