The experiences of foundation doctors with dyspraxia: a phenomenological study

Walker, Eleanor, Shaw, Sebastian C K, Reed, Malcolm and Anderson, John L (2021) The experiences of foundation doctors with dyspraxia: a phenomenological study. Advances in Health Sciences Education. ISSN 1382-4996

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Dyspraxia, otherwise known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), is a specific learning difficulty (SpLD). Its main difficulties manifest as problems with motor coordination, organisation, academic and social difficulties. There are now more students arriving at university with SpLDs, and, therefore, a similar rise may be expected within medical education. There has been no previous research focusing on dyspraxia in doctors. An interpretive phenomenological approach was used. Six UK foundation schools disseminated the announcements. Three participants took part in loosely structured telephone interviews regarding their experiences of undertaking medical school and foundation school with dyspraxia. These were transcribed verbatim and then thematically analysed. The themes could be split into two main categories: “Weakness and Coping Strategies” and “Perspectives of Dyspraxia”. “Weakness” included: clumsiness, organisation and needing extra time. The participants focused on their “Coping Strategies” that included: Ensuring safety, adapted learning preferences and external support. “Perspectives of Dyspraxia” included: diagnosis, career choice, stigma, “normalisation” and the “difference view” or “medical deficit” view of dyspraxia. Doctors with dyspraxia often mask their difficulties through sophisticated coping strategies. These were determined and hardworking individuals who believe that their dyspraxia was a positive aspect of their identity, adopting a “difference view”. They felt further education is needed about dyspraxia to change the perceived stigma. There is now a need for further research in this area.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: dyspraxia, specific learning difficulties, medical education, phenomenology, interpretive phenomenology, junior doctors
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical and Experimental Medicine
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2021 08:19
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2021 09:15

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