Dissed: Disability as a Diversity Issue in Medical Education
Jeffrey Cain, MD, FAAFP
Alicia Wong, MD, MPH
The CDC has reported 25.7% of Americans have a disability, AAMC studies show 11% of college graduates have a disability, yet only 0.56% of medical school attendees have a mobility disability. The reasons for this gap include inconsistent medical schools policies about disability, inconsistent support for accommodation across individual campuses, and the lack of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act in medical education. People with disabilities face numerous barriers to health care that result in significant health care disparities and unmet needs compared to the nondisabled population. Increasing the presence of people with disabilities in health care and health education would help reduce health care disparities for people with disabilities through increasing patient satisfaction, changing attitudes about disability among health care professionals, and enhancing medical school curricula. Participants in this interactive session will examine disability as a diversity issue in medical education, the social constructs of disability, and challenges of the medical education environment for learners with disabilities; they will acquire skills for addressing disability issues for learners in their medical schools and residency programs.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
- Identify reasons for people with disabilities to be recognized as underrepresented in medicine (URM).
- Identify elements of the social construct of disability that contribute to implicit bias about people with disabilities.
- Update the technical standards and diversity statements of their home medical schools and residency programs to appropriately include learners with disabilities
Dr. Jeffrey Cain is a past president of the AAFP and teaches family medicine as an clinical professor in the University of Colorado’s Department of Family Medicine. He served as chief of family medicine at the Children’s Hospital Denver, and sits on multiple boards. He founded Tar Wars, an award-winning national children’s tobacco-free education project that has now reached more than 10 million children in 50 states and 16 countries. Dr. Cain is currently the chair of the board of directors of the Amputee Coalition. His efforts have resulted in passage of prosthetic access laws in 21 states, and the introduction of bipartisan federal prosthetic insurance legislation. In 2013 he was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare magazine. He holds the first gold medal in adaptive slalom snowboarding from the U.S. National Snowboarding Championships.
Dr. Cain reports no relevant financial relationship and does not intend to reference the off-label or investigative use of commercial products and/or devices.
Dr. Alicia Wong received her MD/MPH from Boston University. She completed her residency at University of Colorado Family Medicine Residency. She is now a Faculty Fellow in the Department of Family Medicine at CU and Denver Health. Her fellowship focuses on health equity research and primary care for people with disabilities. Dr. Wong has been involved in disability advocacy for over ten years, and previously served on the board of directors of the Disability Policy Consortium of Massachusetts. Dr. Wong reports no relevant financial relationship and does not intend to reference the off-label or investigative use of commercial products and/or devices.