Monday 11 July 2011


I know the title "disabled medic" sounds as though I have myself totally boxed off. As with most things in life, it's a little more complicated than that. The reason the blog is titled as it is, is because this is the search I plugged into google on the first day of 4th year after a conversation with my supervisor.

I had mentioned mental health problems to a supervisor before, but not the joint pain, fatigue and fainting that had gradually come to the fore over my intercal year as the worst effects of my 3rd year breakdown faded. It was a bit of an afterthought to mention anything, and so I said something along the lines of "oh, er, um - and I guess that I should tell you that I'm disabled, or something". I can be so articulate...

That night I went home and googled "disabled medic". A lot of what I found that was useful ended up in my "Disability and Medicine" links. The majority seemed to be condition/impairment-specific support organisations, fluffy-but-without-real-answers pages from the GMC/BMA/med schools, a smattering of "wheelchair boy banned from med school" headlines, and forum threads about whether disabled people should be allowed to apply.

The only site that offered any kind of real overview was HOPE for disabled doctors which is definitely worth a read, but I have found very little written from a personal perspective, and very little that specifically relates to mobility impairments, or fatigue.

In offering this blog, I'm not claiming to have all of the answers. For medical students who acquire an impairment, or for disabled folk who become medical students, the learning curve is incredibly steep. My hope is to provide a resource to help people find their feet a little bit. There is a lot that I haven't figured out yet, and all I can write about is my own experience (and no-one will have the exact same experience as me), but here it is, for what it's worth.

There are so many other words that describe me other than disabled and medic - but there are resources out there to address losing weight on a vegan diet, planning a big gay wedding, training cats to bring chocolate when summoned and learning to play the ukelele. So here is a resource about the being-a-disabled-medic bit, so that you can get back to being a vegan, pacifist, crafty, tea-loving, gay, closet-nudist who enjoys reading - or whatever all those other bits of your identity are, that make up the lovely you. Enjoy =)

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