Prevalence of Self-disclosed Disability Among Medical Students in US Allopathic Medical Schools | Medical Education and Training | JAMA | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
December 6, 2016

Prevalence of Self-disclosed Disability Among Medical Students in US Allopathic Medical Schools

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco
  • 2Medical Scientist Training Program, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA. 2016;316(21):2271-2272. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.10544

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of disabilities represented.1-4 It remains unclear how many medical students have disabilities; prior estimates are out-of-date and psychological, learning, and chronic health disabilities have not been evaluated.5 This study assessed the prevalence of all disabilities and the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.

From December 2014 through February 2016, an electronic, web-based survey was sent to institutionally designated disability administrators at eligible allopathic medical schools who have a federally mandated duty to assist qualified students with disabilities. Eligible schools were identified through a registry maintained by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC); new schools and those with probationary accreditation or on probation were excluded. Participation was maximized through direct emails to disability administrators, AAMC outreach to students affairs deans at eligible schools encouraging participation, and phone calls to nonresponding schools after 6 and 9 months.