Diversity among doctors: Students with disabilities are finding their place in medical schools—and beyond

< , who do not work with me directly, and they have assumptions.”
That medical students and residents face stigma because of a health condition is ironic—but not so surprising. “There’s some deep psychological theory around how doctors in general may not necessarily accept their mortality,” says Vera Krejcik, president of the Canadian Association of Physicians with Disabilities. “A lot of people have noticed a certain discomfort; colleagues don’t know how to negotiate being with somebody with a difference.”
Krejcik had a stroke while studying medicine at the University of Calgary. With limited use of one arm, she switched her focus from internal medicine to psychiatry. It was a matter of being “realistic,” says Krejcik. “I don’t worry about hobbling around or needing to suture.”
Before anyone can become a doctor, there are technical standards they must meet, both physical and cognitive, says Lewis, who helped Dunkley establish herself as a resident at the University of Alberta. But there are intangibles to consider, too. Dunkley and others are proving that. As Lewis puts it, “Any candidate who comes from an extraordinary background with a unique perspective, they often do make extraordinary physicians.”

Why do we need national guidelines for adults with intellectual disability and dementia?

New Article Highlights Need for National Practice Guidelines for Adults with ID and Dementia

Matthew P. Janicki and Seth M. Keller

The NIDILRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developmental Disabilities and Health (RRTCDD)  recently published an article, Why do we need national guidelines for adults with intellectual disability (ID) and dementia? in the open access journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment, & Disease Monitoring. The article introduces current research in dementia care practices and highlights the need for special guidelines for individuals with ID, for whom symptoms of dementia may be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

Impact of Adulthood Stage and Social-Environmental Context on Body Mass Index and Physical Activity of Individuals With Intellectual Disability

Kelly Hsieh, Tamar Heller, Julie Bershadsky, and Sarah Taub
Intellectual and Developmental Disability 2015, Vol. 53, No. 2, 100–113

Individuals with intellectual disability (ID) are at risk for obesity and physical inactivity. We analyzed a subset of 2009–2010 National Core Indicators (NCI) database to examine (1) the impact of three adulthood stages– younger (20–39 years), middle (40–59 years), and older (60 years and older) on Body Mass Index (BMI) and physical activity (PA); and (2) the relationship between social-environmental context (i.e., residence type, everyday choices, and community participation) and BMI and PA, with adjustment for individual characteristics of the adults with ID. Findings highlight the need to pay more attention to obesity by providing health education and emphasizing healthy choices. Results also suggest the importance of community participation as a way of promoting more physical activity.

Promoting Collaboration Between Hospice and Palliative Care Providers and Adult Day Services for Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Corina R. Ronneberg, Lisa Peters-Beumer, Beth Marks, and Alan Factor

Abstract While end-of-life issues are increasingly gaining more attention, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) continue to receive significantly less consideration in research, education, and clinical practice compared with the general population. This is a growing concern especially since the sheer number of persons aging with IDD is expected to double in the next 17 years. Furthermore, policies are shifting to reflect a preference for home and community-based services as an alternative to institutionalization, and it becomes evident that adult day services (ADS) may be ideal settings for receipt of end-of-life care, especially among individuals with IDD. However, end-of-life care and advance planning most commonly occur in long-term care settings for the general population and have historically been less of a priority in ADS and residential services for people with IDD. This article discusses the attitudes of, and collaboration between, ADS and end-of-life providers for aging adults including persons with IDD and explores how ADS may be a great pathway for delivering end-of-life care to the IDD population. Implications and recommendations will also be examined.

http://ome.sagepub.com/content/70/4.toc

Guidelines for Dementia-Related Health Advocacy for Adults With Intellectual Disability and Dementia: National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Kathleen M. Bishop, Mary Hogan, Matthew P. Janicki, Seth M. Keller, Ronald Lucchino, Dawna T. Mughal, Elizabeth A. Perkins, Baldev K. Singh, Kathy Service, Sarah Wolfson, and the Health Planning Work Group of the National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices (2015)

Guidelines for Dementia-Related Health Advocacy for Adults With Intellectual Disability and Dementia: National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, February 2015, Vol. 53, No. 1, pp. 2-29. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1352/1934-9556-53.1.2

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