Naturopathic Medical Student Perspectives on Disability Health Topics

Principal Investigator: Sarah Hourston, ND

Abstract: Nearly 1 in 5 Americans have a disability. As such, physicians will frequently encounter patients with disabilities. General medical education, including naturopathic medical education, does not require comprehensive training on health care topics related to disabilities. Unsurprisingly, while physicians will encounter patients with disabilities, they often feel unprepared to work with this patient population. This cross-sectional study aims to validate a new survey to evaluate naturopathic medical students’ preparation to work with patients with disabilities by measuring their comfort level, knowledge, training needs, and attitudes towards people with disabilities. It also aims to determine if gender, program year, and previous experience with disabilities affects these factors. The results from this study will help inform if changes to disability topics in naturopathic medical education are necessary.