How do medical doctors with specific learning difficulties (SpLD) cope in a clinical setting?

Musto, Jennifer (2013) How do medical doctors with specific learning difficulties (SpLD) cope in a clinical setting? Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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There have been a small number of studies conducted with qualified nurses and nursing/medical students with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD), showing that SpLD may affect those in the medical profession in relation to clinical tasks, career choices and success. There has been an increase in the number of medical students with SpLD (Gibson and Leinster, 2011) entering the medical profession, yet there is very limited research available regarding doctors who have SpLD.
This research aimed to explore how doctors with SpLD are coping in the workplace, the coping strategies used, any perceived possible areas of strength or weakness, and any practices for ensuring patient safety. It also explored the perceptions held by doctors with SpLD about the impact this has on their working life, and factors that could influence their career choice and success. These areas were also explored in relation to medical students.
A mixed methods approach was used for this project, consisting of 3 studies incorporating quantitative questionnaires with 129 doctors (Study 1) and 74 medical students (Study 3) with and without SpLD and qualitative telephone interviews with 11 doctors with SpLD (Study 2).
The results showed that the main difficulties participants with SpLD experienced were in relation to written work and associated tasks, such as spelling. These were often overcome through the use of coping strategies. The doctors rated their clinical skills highly and described strengths such as communication skills and empathy. The doctors were selective when deciding who to disclose their SpLD to.
In conclusion this project showed that SpLD do have a number of effects on doctors in the workplace. Through the implementation of coping strategies and support doctors were able to successfully overcome any difficulties experienced, indicating that having SpLD did not prevent individuals from becoming successful doctors.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2015 14:46
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2015 14:46

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