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Episode 88: Drs. Megan Brown and Jo Hartland, World Poetry Day

DocsWithDisabilities

Release Date: 03/20/2024

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Interviewees: Drs. Megan Brown and Jo Hartland

Interviewer: Dr. Lisa Meeks

Description: 

In this episode, podcast co-host Lisa Meeks had the privilege of hearing from Drs. Megan Brown and Jo Harland,  two UK physicians with disabilities, who collaborated on a thought-provoking poem critiquing disability inclusion in the medical field. 

In this poem reading, Drs. Brown and Hartland challenge the narrative of "overcoming" and "inspiration porn" often associated with disabled individuals. They emphasize the importance of embracing one's true identity and resisting the pressure to conform to societal expectations. Reminding us that disabled individuals should not have to prove their worth above others and deserve to be valued for who they are.

The poem also highlights the ongoing struggle faced by disabled healthcare professionals in securing necessary accommodations in their work environments. It sheds light on the burden placed on individuals to constantly fight for their needs and the importance of organizations recognizing and addressing these challenges. 

Listeners will gain deeper insights into the experiences of disabled healthcare professionals and the critical issues surrounding disability inclusion in the medical field. 

 

Bios: 

Dr Megan Brown is a Senior Research Associate in Medical Education at Newcastle University, in the School of Medicine, in the UK. She trained as a doctor, but decided to leave practice and has subsequently pursued medical education research. She is multiply disabled – she uses a walking stick, and is neurodivergent. Megan’s research has focused on issues relating to the clinical education workforce within the UK, and equality, diversity, and inclusion within this workforce across the spectrum of undergraduate to postgraduate experience. She is a published poet, and is passionate about creative methods of expression and research.

Dr Jo Hartland (they/them) qualified from Cardiff University in 2013 and left NHS clinical work in 2018. They have worked at the University of Bristol Medical School since 2018, and are the current School Deputy Education Director for Student Equity Diversity and Inclusion. Their teaching focuses on the integration of marginalised people’s voices in healthcare curriculums, and empowering students to be agents of change in the face of health inequity. They sit on the executive board of the UK Medical Schools Council EDI Alliance, with a focus on LGBTQ+ inclusion and reasonable adjustments for disability. Their research interests lie in the intersection of professionalism and how this can act as a gatekeeping device for marginalised communities accessing healthcare careers. Outside of their university work Jo is a queer health activist and lead author of the GLADD UK Charter on So-Called LGBTQ+ ‘Conversion Therapy’. In 2022 they received the NHS England LGBTQ+ Health Advisor Award and Attitude magazine’s 2023 Pride Award.

Transcript

Keywords: 

  • World Poetry Day

  • UNESCO

  • Medical Education

  • General Medical Council

  • Equality

  • Disability inclusion

  • Medical School

  • LGBTQ+

  • Conversion therapy

  • Disability community

  • Ableism

  • Reasonable adjustments

  • Equality Act

  • Trauma

  • Joy

  • Resilience

  • Advocacy

  • Policies

  • Documents

Produced by: Gabe Abrams and Lisa Meeks 

Audio editor: Jacob Feeman

Digital Media: Katie Sullivan