Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Medical Education Online

For an Article Collection on

Disability Studies in Medical Education: Challenging Barriers to Care and Participation

Manuscript deadline
30 April 2024

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Article collection guest advisor(s)

Dr. Cathy Lazarus, LSU Health New Orleans, US

Dr. Ronja Tripp-Bodola, LSU Health New Orleans, US

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Disability Studies in Medical Education: Challenging Barriers to Care and Participation

Disability Studies help to shift the focus from impaired individual bodies to socio-cultural aspects of ability. Thus, the field helps health professional educators and students rethink the so-called medical model of disability. The approaches and core concepts bring to the fore systemic barriers, both attitudinal or environmental in nature, that frame our understanding of the able body and cause disablement in the first place.

The practice of healthcare as taught in most professional schools is centred around curative healthcare. Practitioners are taught to care for individuals with disabilities as impaired bodies rather than fully identified human beings who may experience the world differently but who are valued members of society. Underlying the curriculum is still the medical model of disability which fosters ableism, exclusion, and power hierarchies. The model is ubiquitous in medical discourse and informs all aspects of clinical practice – diagnosis, prognosis, ethical considerations such as access to care and allocation of resources. Healthcare professionals through the medical model have been given tremendous power in the lives of people with disabilities as “gate keepers” of diagnosis, and access to services.

As the concept of disability has been broadened to include mental health conditions, more and more people can be classified as having a disability. This affects both patients and providers alike, with detrimental effects on well-being. In the current system, patients might feel unheard or overlooked, and feel that their quality of life is devalued. Clinicians with disabilities might experience stigma first-hand and might not seek out the help they need, if they are even able to access health professional training which is very unwelcoming to them.

This Article Collection aims to disseminate relevant original research, review articles, short communications, rapid communications and book reviews that exemplify the development and implementation of Disability Studies into health professional curriculum. This includes innovative learning strategies, assessment strategies, or other resources across the medical education spectrum of basic science, clinical science, classroom settings, clinical training, and faculty development. Additionally, we welcome cross-sections or overviews that capture existing Disability Studies content within health professional schools and post graduate training programs, including recommendations for future scholarship.

Topics include, but not limited to the following:

  • Curriculum (development), hidden curriculum
  • Attitudes/bias
  • Ethics/legal issues
  • Professional identity formation
  • Physician wellness and (mental) health
  • Disparities/barriers, including for trainees and healthcare professionals
  • Ableism in the health care system
  • Individuals with disabilities in the health care workforce

All manuscripts submitted to this Article Collection will undergo desk assessment and peer-review as part of our standard editorial process. Guest Advisors will not be involved in peer-reviewing manuscripts unless they are an existing member of the Editorial Board.

Please review the journal scope and author submission instructions prior to submitting a manuscript.

The deadline for submitting manuscripts is 30 April 2024.

Please contact Dr. Molly Cole at [email protected] with any queries regarding this Article Collection.

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All manuscripts submitted to this Article Collection will undergo desk assessment and peer-review as part of our standard editorial process. Guest Advisors for this collection will not be involved in peer-reviewing manuscripts unless they are an existing member of the Editorial Board. Please review the journal Aims and Scope and author submission instructions prior to submitting a manuscript.