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LRV

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Dear all: Humbly requesting advice and information. I am considering going into some sort of pre-medical program, but am wondering if I will be turned away by a medical school down the line because of my disability. I don't imagine they turn many people away on *principle* of being disabled, but I am wondering if I am too physically limited to pursue medical school, or a health career in general. My fine motor skills are somewhat lacking. I have been officially diagnosed with dysgraphia (entirely motor) and an unspecified motor clumsiness, but I have none of the developmental or educational handicaps usually associated with the condition. I have largely overcome the deficit to my writing (as long as I use my pen - I use ink that I mix up special), and my motor control has improved; I play a string instrument well enough to have won scholarships for it. That being said, the handwriting is slow and still not particularly pretty, and I'm not sure I trust myself to stick needles into someone's semi-mobile, beaty arm, much less root around inside their torso with something sharp. Can anyone offer opinions on whether or not med school, or even medicine as a field is the right path for me? I have, from my far-off distant vantage point of the field, two interests, one of them being general family medicine, potentially as a DO, and the other being an interest in anatomy, which has me wanting to go into some sort of work in autopsy pathology. Does anyone here have any insights? Are med students required to do things involving living people and sharp bits in their potentially shaky hands? Curious to hear your thoughts.
 

Seahawk

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I'm sorry but It doesn't sound right for you to me. Most things in the health fields require fine motor skills. There are a lot of people who have some slight-moderate tremors. But if you have a disability to the point where you have trouble writing and even have to make special ink because of a physical disability where you are clumsy with your hands...it doesn't sound like you would be able to do a lot of the stuff you would need to do.

Yes, med students are required to do lots of things with sharp bits.
 

mmmcdowe

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Dear all: Humbly requesting advice and information. I am considering going into some sort of pre-medical program, but am wondering if I will be turned away by a medical school down the line because of my disability. I don't imagine they turn many people away on *principle* of being disabled, but I am wondering if I am too physically limited to pursue medical school, or a health career in general. My fine motor skills are somewhat lacking. I have been officially diagnosed with dysgraphia (entirely motor) and an unspecified motor clumsiness, but I have none of the developmental or educational handicaps usually associated with the condition. I have largely overcome the deficit to my writing (as long as I use my pen - I use ink that I mix up special), and my motor control has improved; I play a string instrument well enough to have won scholarships for it. That being said, the handwriting is slow and still not particularly pretty, and I'm not sure I trust myself to stick needles into someone's semi-mobile, beaty arm, much less root around inside their torso with something sharp. Can anyone offer opinions on whether or not med school, or even medicine as a field is the right path for me? I have, from my far-off distant vantage point of the field, two interests, one of them being general family medicine, potentially as a DO, and the other being an interest in anatomy, which has me wanting to go into some sort of work in autopsy pathology. Does anyone here have any insights? Are med students required to do things involving living people and sharp bits in their potentially shaky hands? Curious to hear your thoughts.

I think you are fine. I also had a fine motor skill dysfunction as a kid and it hasn't stopped me from planning a career in surgery. Besides, terrible hand writing is often taken as a sign of doctorness ;)
 
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Seahawk

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I think you are fine. I also had a fine motor skill dysfunction as a kid and it hasn't stopped me from planning a career in surgery. Besides, terrible hand writing is often taken as a sign of doctorness ;)


Did it go away or do you still have it?
 

Seahawk

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I still have it, but it has "faded" if you will to the point where it mostly affects my handwriting. Newly learned motor movements like suturing, IV's, etc have not been a problem.


I think it depends on whether it will fade away like this for the OP then.
 

mmmcdowe

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I think it depends on whether it will fade away like this for the OP then.

If the OP can play a string instrument proficiently, it sounds to me that it is faded enough already. While perhaps he will never feel comfortable being a surgeon, a medical students role requires little finesse. Most of the things that you will do can be done with significant support (resting your arm against the table, etc) to compensate for any inaccuracy or tremor. Further, if you can't place an IV you can't place an IV. I've only had to do it a handful of times, and on the occasion that I failed the resident or attending or phlebotomist was right there to do it. If you can't suture, you can't suture. Maybe you won't honor surgery, but frankly it isn't the level of deficit that will keep you out of medical school. There are basic motor requirements that some medical school adhere to, but these are very basic and not particularly policed.
 
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Seahawk

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If the OP can play a string instrument proficiently, it sounds to me that it is faded enough already. While perhaps he will never feel comfortable being a surgeon, a medical students role requires little finesse. Most of the things that you will do can be done with significant support (resting your arm against the table, etc) to compensate for any inaccuracy or tremor. Further, if you can't place an IV you can't place an IV. I've only had to do it a handful of times, and on the occasion that I failed the resident or attending or phlebotomist was right there to do it. If you can't suture, you can't suture. Maybe you won't honor surgery, but frankly it isn't the level of deficit that will keep you out of medical school. There are basic motor requirements that some medical school adhere to, but these are very basic and not particularly policed.

Luckily I have no motor disability, you know better than I do... I had an idea in my mind that the OP shakes moderate-severely uncontrollably. To the point where it would profoundly affect him trying to even do simple tasks not involving particularly sharp things.

If that's not the case and it is minor/manageable, go for it.
 

FutureCTDoc

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You can pursue a specialty where you don't do things that require fine motor skills, psychiatry, neurology and pathology all would work.
 
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