Safe and effective prescribing with dyslexia

Shaw, Sebastian C K, Hennessy, Laura R, Okorie, Michael and Anderson, John L (2019) Safe and effective prescribing with dyslexia. BMC Medical Education, 19. a277. ISSN 1472-6920

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Background: The term ‘dyslexia’ refers to a condition that impacts upon reading and writing abilities whilst not altering intelligence. Individuals with dyslexia may have difficulties with the speed and accuracy and their reading and writing, amongst other issues. Dyslexia is not automatically considered a disability but is a protected characteristic under the UK Equality Act (2010), and therefore employers and educational institutions are required to provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ in order to allow individuals to reach their full potential. There is a lack of research on this issue, but what little there is suggests that doctors feel as though any support they received ended when they graduated from medical school.

Main body: A core distinction between medical school and medical practice is the requirement to prescribe medicines as registered medical practitioners. Junior doctors have to master this complex and potentially hazardous skill “on the job”, with a perceived lack of support. Here, we open up a debate about the potential impact of dyslexia on prescribing, and the need to find supports that may be effective in enabling doctors with dyslexia prescribe medicines safely and effectively – and thus reach their full potential as medical practitioners and promote patient safety.

Conclusion: We argue that medical schools and hospitals could immediately provide dyslexia awareness training in both undergraduate and postgraduate settings. We discuss electronic prescribing systems, and conclude that research is required to identify effective supports for junior doctors with dyslexia.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Dyslexia Specific learning difficulties Doctors Prescribing Medical education Health education
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology > RM0138 Drug prescribing
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology > RM0139 Prescription writing
Depositing User: Michael Okorie
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2019 12:27
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2020 11:49

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