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Please help, disabilities, vision requirements for specialties?

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Mblack8115

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Hey there, I am currently a senior year undergrad planning on attending medical school. I have an optic nerve condition with which I was born and it does not appear to be getting any worse overtime. However, my eyesight is only corrected to 20/70 in left and 20/60 in right eye. From what I've read I think will be unable to do surgery, radiology, derm, and pathology. Can someone please give me a little guidance as to which specialties are more/less suited for those of us who don't have vision correctable to 20/20? Luckily, I seem to be naturally most interested in psychiatry, which does not seem as vision demanding as others. I am also very interested in non-invasive cardiology and OB GYN.

Thank you and I appreciate it!
 

futuremdforme

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Off the top of my head, that seems like it would be difficult to complete the requirements of medical school.
 
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DrMidlife

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No need to guess. Pick a med school, find "technical standards" on their admissions website. This will tell you exactly what med schools require with respect to vision. Here's an example: http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/education/sc...md-program/admissions/technical-standards.cfm

ObGyn is a surgical specialty.

My recommendation is to look for vision-impaired physicians in practice, preferably who were vision-impaired before med school. You need somebody who has met and overcome the barriers to advise you.

Best of luck to you.
 
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Law2Doc

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There will be two hurdles, what you need for med school and then for residency. A few schools, mostly for publicity, have made accommodations to even allow a blind person to get an MD. However in most cases these graduates got funneled into research paths and never matched into a residency. So even if you find a med school where you meet the requirements or can get accommodation, it won't mean a residency will do likewise.

There are really very few fields where you'll never need to do a procedure, look at an image, visually examine a portion of a patient. Cardiologists are very intertwined with imaging (echo, nuclear cardiology, cardiac CT and MR), so if you can't do radiology you really can't look at those either. I think some aspects of psych might be doable, but their residents do rotate through the ED and floors, and frankly there are a lot of causes of dementia and psychosis for which looking at imaging with the radiologist is becoming progressively more important.

I'd really be honest with yourself about what you can and can't do and whether both hurdles (med school and then the higher hurdle of residency) are things you can actually get past, before you start down this road.
 
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Louie3

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I think it would probably be possible. When I first found out I needed glasses I was in junior high and my vision was 20/60 & 20/80. My senior year of high school, I had cornea problems and my vision was approx. 20/200 with correction. When I first started wearing glasses, my main problem was reading the boards when I sat in the middle/back of the class, reading posters, etc., but I was fine reading books, sheet music, and anything close up. I think as long as your near-sight is fine it would be possible. You might be okay with some radiology/surgery, but image-guided or laproscopic surgery would pose a problem viewing screens away from you. You know your vision best and what is possible. Shadow a variety of doctors to give yourself a better idea if your vision would interfere with the rotations in medical school and residency. I'm not sure where you live or want to go to school/practice, but in the Midwest/South there are family medicine docs who also do OB care.
 

Mblack8115

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Thank you all very much for your responses and 2 cents. My vision is fine with things close-up and near to me e.g. reading books, etc. Things get blurry at around 4 feet away. I'm not sure if this makes a huge difference or not, but hence why I figured reading EKGs and such wouldn't be a problem (but of course I could be wrong). If anyone has an opinion about whether or not doing research would still be an option I'd love to hear it and any more info on psych would be much appreciated.

Thanks again
 

Mblack8115

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Also does anyone have any thoughts on whether or not being a psychiatric nurse practitioner or psychiatric PA would be a more viable option?
 
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