Physicians with disabilities often undervalued – CMAJ

Dr. Jessica Dunkley is currently completing her residency in dermatology at the University of British Columbia. Like most doctors-in-training in this country, she completed her undergraduate medical degree and hoped to pursue a specialty. Unlike most doctors in training, Dunkley’s path to her chosen profession also required going to the BC Human Rights Tribunal and the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Dunkley is deaf. Indeed, she is one of the first deaf doctors in the country and the first hearing-impaired Métis doctor to practise in Canada. After being accepted into the dermatology program at UBC and St. Paul’s Hospital in 2010, the new medical graduate was informed that her request for sign language interpreters could not be accommodated. In 2011, she was dismissed from the residency program by UBC and dismissed as an employee by Providence Health Care, which operates St. Paul’s.

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