Tag Archives: diversity

What Med Schools Miss Out On Because of “Technical Standards”


Diversity includes disability

halt photo
Photo by b_lumenkraft

Dr. Marley Doyle is a reproductive psychiatrist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  She’s also “legally blind”, with 20/400 vision.  She struggled through medical school just like all med students, but with that additional complication.  She made it, however, and her discussion with Aditi Patel and Irisa Mahaparn gives some clues as to why.  First, her disability was invisible which made it easy for people to assume that she wasn’t disabled.  And second, she was naive to the fact that she could ask for help.  In other words, she stumbled through it all and came out the other side without having been a “burden” for her school. Years later, she acknowledges that she could have asked for more help.

We also discuss the technical standards that most schools have in place to define what a student physician should be able to do physically, intellectually, and emotionally to succeed in school.  These standards, however, often seem to be written with a stereotypical disabled person in mind, one who cannot possible succeed because of their disability, and thus should not be in medical school.  We discuss the concept of “assumed competence” which, as  recent CCOM guest lecturer Dr. Oluwaferanmi Okanlami pointed out, allows people with disabilities to show they are able to fulfill their duties as opposed to assuming they cannot.  And we discuss the AAMC’s recent first-of-its-kind report “Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians With Disabilities,” which brought to light the inconsistent policies and procedures for, lack of support of, and lack of awareness many schools have of their legal obligations under the law towards students with disabilities.  And we talk about why med schools that don’t encourage disabled people to apply are missing out on a piece of the diversity puzzle.

Plus, Dr. Doyle helps answer a listener who is lucky enough to have several med school acceptances, and wants to know how to decide among them!  Lucky you, ‘Anxious Premed!’  Don’t worry, we can help.

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We Want to Hear From You

Are you living with a disability and discouraged about your med school plans?  Are you in medical school, disabled, and have some advice to offer? Tell us about it by calling 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading What Med Schools Miss Out On Because of “Technical Standards”

Nebraska has questions.


Jennifer Andersen, a sociology PhD student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, teaches a course called Sociology of Health and Health Care.  She reached out to us to propose that her students would send in questions for us as an extra credit assignment, which was a great idea we jumped on because it meant Dave would barely have to prepare for this show…I mean, it’d be a great education opportunity for her students’ young, fertile minds.

Ahem. Aaanyhow, her students really stepped up with some great topics for Aline Sandouk, Aditi Patel, and new co-hosts Kelsey Anderson and Jacob Chrestenson.  So come along with us as we dive into questions like, have you ever had to do something in med school that wasn’t ethical,  is it better to come to medical school with an open mind about your eventual career, and what’s it like working with different attendings all the time? They’ve got answers to all these queries and a lot more.

We Want to Hear From You

What do you want us to talk about on a future show?   Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Nebraska has questions.

Positive Exposure with Rick Guidotti

Photos by Rick Guidotti

Rick Guidotti is a fashion photographer working in New York, Milan, Paris, and London for everyone from Elle to Yves Saint Laurent. In 1997, he and physician Diane McLean founded Positive Exposure, a non-profit organization dedicated to using the visual arts to highlight the beauty of genetic diversity and challenging the stigmas associated with differences in appearance. Positive Exposure presents diversity workshops, educational and human rights programs, and multimedia exhibitions for physicians, nurses, genetic counselors, health care professionals-in-training, universities, elementary and secondary schools, legislators, and the general public.  Rick sat down with Iowa medical students Kurt Wall and Miriam Wiener to talk about his work with Positive Exposure, and about what families who live with genetic, physical, and intellectual differences want: to have their stories heard.

While you listen, be sure to visit http://positiveexposure.org/, and look at the galleries at the bottom of the page to meet the families and people that Positive Exposure works with.

Listen to Episode 020: Positive Exposure with Rick Guidotti.

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.