March 22, 2022

Disability Health Medical School Elective

Ethan Sperry, an M.D./Ph.D. fellow at the University of Michigan Medical School, participated in the January 2022 Disability Health Elective, which is a two-week elective course designed for third- and fourth-year medical students.

Ethan Sperry headshot, a white man with brown hair in a suit jacket and tie
Ethan Sperry

The elective teaches students about best clinical practices in disability health from a variety of disability health experts. They are also exposed to disability theory, law and culture, and the implications for disability policy in healthcare.

“The Disability Health Elective broadened my exposure to individuals with disabilities actively navigating the ever-complex transition between childhood and adulthood,” he said. “This transition is so critical to maintaining trust in the health care system and is a key area for continued improvement in American health care.”

As a lifetime patient with a rare genetic disorder, Cerebro Costo Mandibular syndrome, Ethan grew up in Indiana and completed his Bachelor of Science in Biology and Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry at Indiana University in Bloomington. 

Ethan’s doctoral dissertation in Human Genetics focused on roles for epigenetic and transcriptional regulation in CHARGE syndrome (a complex genetic syndrome that involves extensive medical and physical difficulties differing between affected individuals diagnosed with the syndrome), and craniofacial and inner ear development.  He has published extensively in peer-reviewed scientific literature and is currently completing his medical degree. 

After graduating with his medical degree, Ethan plans to continue in academic medicine, merging his clinical and research interests in pediatrics and medical genetics. He is most passionate about improving outcomes and coordinating care for children and adults with chronic, complex medical illness.

MDisability will hold its next Disability Health Elective courses on April 11-22 and April 25-May 6. For more information, contact MDisability Program Coordinator Dawn Michael at dawnmi@med.umich.edu.