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Doctors Don't Want Patients with Disabilities

Dr. Lisa Iezzoni is a professor of medicine at Harvard. She has done research for 25 years with people who have disabilities, to find out, “What is it like for you to go to a doctor?” She kept hearing stories about doctors’ offices “you can’t get into. Doctors who don’t treat you with respect. Care that is way below standard.”

So, she decided to then ask doctors, “What is it like for you to treat someone with disabilities?” She promised the doctors, “You’ll be anonymous,” and the focus groups were on video, so the doctors couldn’t see that Dr. Iezzoni, who has multiple sclerosis, was sitting in a wheelchair.

The result? Some doctors said their office scales could not accommodate wheelchairs, so they had told patients to go to a supermarket, a grain elevator, a cattle processing plant, or a zoo to be weighed. Some would tell a new patient, “Sorry, the practice is closed.” One specialist said disabled patients take too much time, and they’re a “disruption to clinic flow."

Possible Preaching Angle:

How differently Jesus approaches a person with disabilities (John 9)! He was approachable, empathetic, and affirming.

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