Medical education and disability studies

J Med Humanit. 2009 Dec;30(4):221-35. doi: 10.1007/s10912-009-9088-2.


The biomedicalist conceptualization of disablement as a personal medical tragedy has been criticized by disability studies scholars for discounting the difference between disability and impairment and the ways disability is produced by socio-environmental factors. This paper discusses prospects for partnerships between disability studies teaching/research and medical education; addresses some of the themes around the necessity of critical disability studies training for medical students; and examines a selection of issues and themes that have arisen from disability education courses within medical schools globally. The paper concludes that providing there is a commitment from senior management, universities are well positioned to apply both vertical and horizontal approaches to teaching disability studies to medical students.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Education, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Research / education*