One-fifth of all Americans have a disability, but less than 1 percent of doctors do. That’s slowly starting to change—to the benefit of medicine and patients.
Advances in technology are gradually expanding the pipeline for applicants with disabilities, both creating new means of accommodation and making accommodations that were once too clunky or expensive easier and cheaper.
“Doctors are healers, but they’re also arbiters of what’s normal,” said Temple. They tell us whether our worries are worth the worry. They help us grapple with the fragility of our bodies, the contingency of our lives. We see and hear and walk, but we won’t always. As we age, we are more and more likely to gain a disability—nearly three-quarters of adults over 80 live with one. Doctors with disabilities are not only able to heal us in the same ways as any other doctor; they may be able to help us better understand our bodies and how to live in them.”