The implications of hearing loss on a medical student: A personal view and learning points for medical educators

Med Teach. 2020 Oct 27;1-2. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2020.1839036. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Due to the widening access to medicine scheme, students with disabilities are entering medicine. Hearing-impaired students are an important subcategory of medical students, whose specific learning challenges with respect to medicine are poorly explored in the literature. We feel that this topic is particularly important and relevant given the current covid-19 pandemic, which has led to the widespread use of surgical masks, thereby posing a barrier to hearing, communication and education for hearing-impaired medical students. Therefore, the medical education of these students is of even more paramount importance as the pandemic continues. This personal view details the experiences of a current hearing-impaired medical student in the United Kingdom, with key learning points for medical educators who may require insight into hearing loss and how to tailor their teaching techniques accordingly.

Keywords: Hearing-impaired; background noise; lip reading; medical student; radio-aid.