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Why we should and how we can increase medical school admissions for persons with disabilities

Liz Fitzmaurice, Kenneth Donald, Carl Wet and Dinesh Palipana
Med J Aust 2021; 215 (6): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51238
Published online: 20 September 2021

Medical students with disabilities bring lived experience as patients, with a positive impact on school culture and learning

In 2015, Dinesh Palipana was readmitted to the third year of the Griffith University School of Medicine (GUSOM) medical program, 5 years after sustaining traumatic quadriplegia. Academics and university disability services worked together with hospital clinicians to plan his clinical rotations and problem solve any potential challenges. The clinical skills and assessment team designed and implemented reasonable adjustments for his annual objective structured clinical examinations, which did not undermine the technical standards of the stations. An external medical educator was responsible for the quality assurance of the examinations. Palipana met with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) before his readmission, and recalls the ongoing communication with AHPRA was consistently professional, respectful and logical throughout medical school and since graduation.

  • Liz Fitzmaurice
  • Kenneth Donald
  • Carl Wet
  • Dinesh Palipana

  • Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD


Correspondence: Liz.Fitzmaurice@otago.ac.nz

Competing interests:

Both Dinesh Palipana and Liz Fitzmaurice were on the Working Party that produced the MDANZ Inclusive medical education document.

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