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Title: The impact of medical instructors' attitudes towards patients with developmental disabilities on undergraduate medical students in Northern Ontario 
Authors: Groom, Alicia
Keywords: Medical students;medical preceptors;medical education;health care providers;developmental disabilities;Northern Ontario.
Issue Date: 20-Apr-2020
Abstract: The attitudes possessed by health care professionals are an important factor in patients with developmental disabilities’ (DD) ability to access services, particularly in rural and remote regions, such as Northern Ontario. Despite the expressed need for greater education in medical school on DD, students and providers often report discomfort when working with these patients. This major paper aimed to answer the question: What impact do instructors and preceptors have on medical students’ attitudes towards patients with developmental disabilities? Social Power Theory (French & Raven, 1959) was used to explore the themes in the literature. A total of 56 articles published between 1980 and 2019 were identified and reviewed for this analysis. Three main themes were identified in the literature including: (1) Barriers to accessing health care, including both providers’ and students’ knowledge and attitudes; (2) Gaps in the health care curricula and formal education; and (3) the power dynamic and culture of medical education. The results of this review indicate that there is a lack of formal education and few clinical opportunities for students to learn about DD. Patients with DD have expressed a desire to be included in medical education in a professional capacity as an educator; this position of power may provide them with an opportunity to improve students’ knowledge while reducing potential biases. Although medical educators are experts in their field, they are often not formally trained as educators. The implications of this lack of formal training are that much of preceptors’ teaching styles are left to their discretion, which may include negative teaching approaches such as “ritual humiliation”
Appears in Collections:Interdisciplinary Health / Santé interdisciplinaire - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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