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Dyslexic doctors can't expect special treatment

Dyslexia shouldn't stop you becoming a doctor, but don't expect many allowances to be made for your condition, says Copperfield.

Dyslexia shouldn't stop you becoming a doctor, but don't expect many allowances to be made for your condition, says Copperfield.



So I got this note, "Dear Dr – can I have a prepcriction for paratecamol – sorry about the spelling, I've had dailysex since I was 15"

Or dyslexia, even. Ironically, anyone who suffers from true dyslexia probably won't be able to figure out that ‘dyslexia' is an anagram of daily sex. In all other respects as any fule kno they can be as smart as anyone else. Smart enough, for instance, to train to be doctors.

A dyslexic student at the Peninsular Medical School, Naomi Gadian, wants exam questions in the Multiple Choice MCQ format to be abolished because she feels that they discriminate against her.

She said: "In normal day life, you don't get given multiple choice questions to sit. Your patients aren't going to ask you 'Here's an option and four answers. Which one is right?'"

Well, actually, they do. They come in with half a dozen internet printouts that they will expect you to read and critique while they sit there watching or with a list of local hospital consultants downloaded from the NHS Choose and Book website and expect you to choose between them.

By all means get examining bodies to read MCQ questions out loud and pencil mark boxes on dyslexic students' behalf, but don't imagine that real life will ever make that sort of allowance.

When it's 3.30am in casualty and you're handed a GP referral letter in spidery ‘small hours' handwriting or a set of old hospital notes three inches thick, asking the nearest nurse to you to settle down and read them to you like a bedtime story isn't going to go down that well.

Copperfield

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