Since she was a young girl, Li Juhong dreamed of becoming a doctor. Then, at 4 years old, she lost her legs in a tragic and painful accident. But that experience didn’t weaken Juhong’s resolve; rather, it drove her to help others in pain. Now, the 38-year-old is one of two doctors responsible for around 2,000 people in the mountainous Chinese village of Wadian. Armed with her medical training and a determination that often sees her work well into the night, Juhong says she feels “happy and lucky” to have helped so many people in her village.
History of Nontraditional Careers
The Nursing Workforce and Changing Demographics
While a majority of nurses currently work in the hospital setting, the nontraditional (nonhospital) nursing sector is growing.
There are currently over 2.7 million registered nurses in the United States. This figure is expected to increase 16% by the year 2024, with nursing employment surpassing the growth of most other health-related occupations. The upcoming expected growth of the aging population, particularly the baby-boomer generation, will require a larger nursing workforce to provide and coordinate care. The increased prevalence of chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, will also precipitate the need for a larger nursing workforce.
Patients are living longer but often with multiple chronic conditions and functional impairments. While there will always be a need to have a robust nursing workforce within the inpatient hospital setting, future projections show an increased growth of nursing jobs in nonhospital community-based healthcare settings. More patients will require comprehensive outpatient nursing care to manage both acute and chronic conditions.
The function of nurses is to promote wellness through prevention, to restore health and functioning to those affected by illness or injury, and to advocate for the care of individuals, families, and communities. The changing dynamic of the nursing workforce will extend these activities to a wide variety of nonhospital settings.
UCSF Medical Student Disability Services (MSDS) and UCSF Student Disability Services (SDS) in partnership with colleagues from around the country (Case Western Reserve University, Duke University, Northwestern University, Rush University College of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, The University of Washington, and Weill Cornell Medicine and Samuel Merritt University), developed The UCSF Faculty Training Series, an eight part online, video training series to guide faculty who work with students with disabilities. New modules will be posted each month.
Accessible Admissions Practices: Making sure students with disabilities are addressed
- Microaggressions: What they are and how they impact students with disabilities
- ADA 101: The basic laws that govern disability services
- Accommodations in the Clinical Setting
- Full Circle in the Diversity initiative: Inviting Disability to the table
Just and Realistic Expectations for Persons with Disabilities Practicing Nursing, Oct 16 – AMA Journal of Ethics
The nursing profession can become more inclusive by fostering a supportive culture, resilience, and realistic expectations for people with disabilities. AMA Journal of Ethics is a monthly bioethics journal published by the American Medical Association.
Patricia M. Davidson, PhD, RN, Cynda Hylton Rushton, PhD, RN, Jennifer Dotzenrod, MPP, Christina A. Godack, MA, Deborah Baker, DNP, CRNP, and Marie N. Nolan, PhD, RN
The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and requires schools to provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities. The profession of nursing is striving for diversity and inclusion, but barriers still exist to realizing accommodations for people with disabilities. Promoting disclosure, a supportive and enabling environment, resilience, and realistic expectations are important considerations if we are to include among our ranks health professionals who can understand, based on similar life experiences of disability, a fuller range of perspectives of the patients we care for.
Technical Standards and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Medical School Applicants and Students: Interrogating Sensory Capacity and Practice Capacity, Oct 16 – AMA Journal of Ethics
Medical school technical standards should be revised to be more inclusive of applicants with disabilities to diversify the physician workforce. AMA Journal of Ethics is a monthly bioethics journal published by the American Medical Association.
Michael Argenyi, MD
Applicants to medical schools who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHoH) or who have other disabilities face significant barriers to medical school admission. One commonly cited barrier to admission is medical schools’ technical standards (TS) for admission, advancement, and graduation. Ethical values of diversity and equity support altering the technical standards to be more inclusive of people with disabilities. Incorporating these values into admissions, advancement, and graduation considerations for DHoH and other students with disabilities can contribute to the physician workforce being more representative of the diverse patients it serves and better able to care for them.
Why Increasing Numbers of Physicians with Disability Could Improve Care for Patients with Disability, Oct 16 – AMA Journal of Ethics
Expanding the numbers of physicians with disabilities would facilitate patient-centered care for those who need similar accommodations. AMA Journal of Ethics is a monthly bioethics journal published by the American Medical Association.
Lisa I. Iezzoni, MD, MSc
Erroneous assumptions among health care professionals about the daily lives, preferences, values, and expectations of persons with disability can contribute to documented health care disparities, faulty communication, and substandard quality of care affecting this heterogeneous population. Efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities have focused on expanding diversity in the physician workforce. Would expanding the numbers of physicians with disability benefit patients with disability? Increasing the number of physicians who identify as “disabled” is one strategy for proactively confronting disability-related barriers affecting patients, but such efforts will likely face substantial challenges. Nonetheless, physicians who require accommodations to practice (e.g., a height-adjustable examination table) could plausibly benefit patients needing similar accommodations and perhaps be well-positioned to provide patient-centered care to persons with comparable disability.
Theme issue: Health Professionals with Disabilities. AMA Journal of Ethics is a monthly bioethics journal published by the American Medical Association.
Health Professionals with Disabilities: Motivating Inclusiveness and Representation, Oct 16 – AMA Journal of Ethics
Introduction to the October 2016 issue on health professionals with disabilities. AMA Journal of Ethics is a monthly bioethics journal published by the American Medical Association.
Health Professionals with Disabilities: Motivating Inclusiveness and Representation
Medical schools seeking to increase representation of minorities in the profession have sought to improve matriculation and graduation rates of racial and ethnic minorities . But one minority group whose needs remain neglected in the medical field is persons with disabilities.
Although 18.7 percent of the US population [2, 3] and up to 8.9 percent of US residents aged 18 to 24 self-identify as having at least one disability , less than 1 percent of medical students have disabilities known to school administrators. A study published in 2012 found that since 2001, only 0.56 percent of matriculating and 0.42 percent of graduating medical students have physical or sensory disabilities . These data suggest that persons with physical, cognitive, or sensory disabilities face significant hurdles in entering, continuing, and completing training in health professional fields. Furthermore, physicians who develop disabilities after completing their training can have difficulty obtaining accommodations from their employers and consequently leave clinical practice for administrative, teaching, or corporate positions that do not require direct patient care, preventing patients with disabilities from benefiting from the experiences of physicians intimately familiar with the process of adapting their activities of daily living.
The goal of this issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics® is to discuss the importance of increasing representation of people with disabilities in the medical field and to outline some of the obstacles that health professionals and trainees encounter in pursuing or continuing medical practice.
Prevalence of Self-Disclosed Disability in US Allopathic Medical Students | Medical Education and Training | JAMA | The JAMA Network
Studying the performance of medical students with disabilities requires a better understanding of the prevalence and categories of disabilities represented.1- 4 It remains unclear how many medical students have disabilities; prior estimates are out-of-date and psychological, learning, and chronic health disabilities have not been evaluated.5 This study assessed the prevalence of all disabilities and the accommodations in use at allopathic medical schools in the United States.
Empowering medical students with disabilities: The student perspective – Herzer – 2016 – Disability Compliance for Higher Education – Wiley Online Library
Medical school can be a stressful and high-stakes experience. For medical students with disabilities, that experience may be even more stressful as students navigate the accommodations process, worry about possible discrimination if they disclose their disabilities, and fear being viewed as inferior compared to their peers. Disability services providers play a vital role in supporting students through the medical school experience.