Greetings everyone and I’m Scott Savoy welcoming you to the final week of August.
It has been a gorgeous month for the most part.
Today I am pleased to share our president’s latest editorial with you and for this week Donna J. Jodhan paints a gloomy picture of how the Medical Profession in Ontario engages and interacts with patients with disabilities.
I strongly encourage you to read this very insightful editorial.
With best wishes for a great weekend.
The Medical Profession’s Massive Muck-Up
by Donna J. Jodhan
I do not think that I would be far off the mark when I say that as a general rule of thumb, almost all of us expect the medical profession to be made up of persons who are well trained when it comes to being able to engage and communicate in a meaningful and respectful manner with seniors and persons with disabilities. However, as it stands today, I am really not sure about this and as a vision impaired person I have had more than enough of my share of frustration, disappointment, and total humiliation and disrespect from certain members of the medical profession who in my respectful opinion should have known better than to think of me as someone who either needs a legal guardian, a support worker, or someone to speak on my behalf.
Of course one will always find those who stand out from this bunch who I consider to be bad apples but I truly believe that these bad apples are in the majority and I am going to put the blame fairly and squarely on the medical profession and those who have failed to provide proper and adequate training at medical and dental schools. In short, the medical association of Ontario has failed miserably to provide awareness and communication training to their members when it comes to them knowing how to respectfully communicate with seniors and those with a disability.
Over the past six months, I have been subjected to a total lack of respect and understanding from a dental office, a dermatology department, and 2 testing labs. I will state here that this behaviour has been going on for too long and now I have chosen to speak up.
A few years ago it was at a testing lab when a technician shouted at me that he did not have time to guide me to the cubicle where I was supposed to get undressed in preparation for a test.
Then a few months ago it was at a dental office where the admin staff refused to talk with me as I accompanied my mom who is hard of hearing and I was there to help her communicate. I had to insist that they should speak directly to me instead of my friend who had driven mom and me to the office. They wanted to get my friend’s phone number and when I asked why they boldly said because she was the personal support worker and that they needed to speak with her. At that point I became extremely frustrated and again told them that my friend was not the personal support worker but that she was my friend and had driven us to the office. It took 3 more attempts before they fully understood that they needed to communicate directly with me. This after I had spoken to the owner of the dental office.
Then at the dermatology clinic I ran into a resident who asked my friend who had driven me there if she was my legal guardian. To add insult to injury and after I had told her that she was not my legal guardian, she attempted to hand printed documents to my friend who told her that she needed to communicate directly with me. Finally she again turned to my friend and asked if she could sign a consent form on my behalf.
These examples clearly show that the Ontario medical association and its associates which include dental and medical schools and other training facilities are sorely lacking when it comes to their personnel learning how to appropriately, engage with persons with a disability and with seniors. The notion that a person with a vision impairment needs a legal guardian or a personal support worker is absolutely unacceptable and is totally disrespectful, insulting, and humiliating.
I am making a personal appeal to the Ontario medical Association to do something about this huge muck up. It is more than time that they provide documentation in electronic formats, and that they train their doctors, dentists, residents, and related medical associates and staff to learn how to appropriately engage and communicate with seniors and persons with disabilities.
Just my two cents for today
To learn more about me as an award winning sight loss coach and advocate visit www.donnajodhan.com
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