August 27, 2020

MDisability introduces new two-week Disability Health Elective for third- and fourth-year medical students

Medical students will learn about best practices for communication and caring for patients with disabilities and provide meaningful experiences through rotations among clinics specializing in disability-based care for specific populations.

New Two-Week Elective: Disability Health. Developed by MDisability Course Directors Michael M. McKee MD MPH, Feranmi Okanlami, Provide a person-centered approach to caring for patients who have disabilities, improve quality of care, and reduce disparities
FAMMED 8204: Disability Health Elective is a unique offering from the U-M Department of Family Medicine & the MDisability Program. 

This coming Monday, the University of Michigan Medical School is introducing the first ever two-week disability health elective for third and fourth year medical students. Students will learn about best clinical practices in disability health from a variety of disability health experts. They will also be exposed to disability theory, law and culture, and the implications for disability policy in healthcare.

Michael M. McKee, MD, MPHOluwaferanmi Okanlami, M.S., M.S. HeadshotAllyse Zondiak, U-M Medical School student
Course Directors Michael McKee, M.D., M.P.H. and Feranmi O. Okanlami, M.D., M.S. (left, center) and Lead Course Designer Allyse Zondlak

The elective is spearheaded by Michael M. McKee, MD, M.P.H., associate professor of family medicine and director of MDisability, and Oluwaferanmi O. Okanlami, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of family medicine, physical medicine & rehabilitation, and urology; director of Adaptive Sports & Fitness; as well as interim director for Services for Students with Disabilities. Medical student Allyse Zondlak has been instrumental in developing and arranging the course contents.

The new course (FAMMED 8204), can accommodate one to two medical students during this first year launch, and has been added to the Patients and Populations branch of medical student education. The elective will provide meaningful clinical experience through rotations among clinics specializing in disability-based care for specific populations (e.g., Deaf Health, Adaptive Sports Medicine, Spinal Cord Injury, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, Cerebral Palsy, Gynecology for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Low Vision).

The elective will also include small group discussions and online training with the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program, and will connect students to the local disability community and available resources.

The overarching goal of the course is to reduce health care disparities and improve health outcomes for patients with disabilities by preparing medical students to provide informed, person-centered care.

“People with disabilities struggle with a variety of health disparities and reduce quality of care. We hope that this elective will provide a training opportunity around disability health but also create a future health care workforce to effectively care for the one in five Americans who report a disability,” says Dr. McKee.

The elective course will also be offered March 29, 2021 through April 23, 2021.

Students interested in the course can enroll in the course through OASIS. For more information, they can reach out to MDisability Program Coordinator Dawn Michael at [email protected].


READ ALSO: MDisability welcomes four disability health interns for summer 2020
READ ALSO: New Book on Disability as Diversity led by Meeks and Family Medicine Faculty