How Should Medical Schools Respond to Students with Dyslexia?
By Frederick Romberg, MD, Bennett A. Shaywitz, MD, and Sally E. Shaywitz, MD.
AMA Journal of Ethics, (October 2016)
We examine the dilemmas faced by a medical student with dyslexia who wonders whether he should “out” himself to faculty to receive the accommodations entitled by federal law. We first discuss scientific evidence on dyslexia’s prevalence, unexpected nature, and neurobiology. We then examine the experiences of medical students who have revealed their dyslexia to illustrate the point that, far too often, attending physicians who know little about dyslexia can misperceive the motives or behavior of students with dyslexia. Because ignorance and misperception of dyslexia can result in bias against students with dyslexia, we strongly recommend a mandatory course for faculty that provides a basic scientific and clinical overview of dyslexia to facilitate greater understanding of dyslexia and support for students with dyslexia.
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