Inclusive Medical Education: Guidance on medical program applicants and students with a disability

Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportEducation


Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand (Medical Deans) works to support medical schools in their mission to graduate medical students who have the ability and motivation to become the highly capable, safe to practice, patient-focused, and socially-accountable doctors that our communities need.
Medical schools work to foster a culture of inclusivity and the provision of equivalent opportunities to access medical programs for people who have the capabilities to become good doctors, but who have been historically disadvantaged or under-represented
. As highlighted in the Medical Deans Selections Policy Statement2 , there are clear benefits to the community of broad representation in the medical workforce of diverse population groups, including of those with a disability.
This guidance document is designed to assist medical schools in their approach to and discussions with prospective and current students with a disability,
3 to identify and consider the adjustments or supports that may be needed for them to commence or continue in a medical program. Please note
that references throughout this document to “students with a disability” refer to both applicants and current medical students who have a disability as defined in Australia by the Disability Discrimination Act 19924 or in New Zealand by the Human Rights Act 19935 .
The document is centred around the importance of early discussions between the student, the medical school, university student support services, any relevant external support services, and where appropriate the student’s key support person. A clear and shared understanding of what supports could be available within the university and externally, and the extent to which these could
assist them in undertaking the medical program and achieving the required graduate outcomes, is essential to inform the resulting decisions of the student and the medical school.
It is important for all students to be aware of the requirements of the medical program and the responsibilities of the medical school, which are distinct from those of the regulatory authorities in their countries and from those of their potential future employers. Enabling effective inclusion requires a concerted effort by all those involved, to identify likely barriers to participation and seek
practical and feasible ways that these could be addressed. One significant barrier to inclusion is a mindset, or culture, that impedes active exploration of solutions to support students with a disability. Each person and their situation are unique, and their needs and potential can only be considered on an individual basis.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherMedical Deans Australia and New Zealand
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


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