Doctors with Disability: Why True Inclusion Requires a Seat at the Table

By Meaghan Roy-OReilly: For Complete Post, Click Here…

“Pretty girl, ugly feet,” the surgeon proclaimed. I was 29, in my last year of medical school, and had been working up the courage to see a doctor for over a year. A year in which I stopped running due to unrelenting ankle sprains, quit rock climbing due to too many near falls — a year in which I no longer danced, because these ugly feet of mine just wouldn’t stop hurting. I sat silently in the empty exam room, lost in a fog of shame.

I asked for help, but didn’t believe I deserved it.

Three months into my first year of residency, I was still reeling from my new diagnosis of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a disorder of the muscles and nerves in my hands and feet. I had walked 20,000 steps on my night shift and was too tired to drive home, but there is no elevator access to the general resident call rooms and lounge on the fourth floor. I had informed the Internal Medicine Program of my new disability and requested information on how to get accommodations, but never heard back; I found out later the message got lost in translation, a bottle adrift at sea.

I asked for help, but I should have been louder.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s