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Episode 90: DRP Special Series: Access In Medicine (AIM)

DocsWithDisabilities

Release Date: 04/04/2024

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Interviewer: Dr. Lisa Meeks

Interviewees: Erin Browkoski, Suzanne Hawks, Karyn LaTurner, Christine Low, Sarah Triano

Description

In this special episode of the DRP series, we explore the origins and evolution of the Docs With Disabilities Access in Medicine (AIM) program, a vibrant initiative dedicated to promoting accessible and equitable educational environments for students with disabilities in medical education. Our conversation delves into AIM's collaborative partnerships with various organizations and the development of essential resources aimed at breaking down barriers to disability inclusion within medical education.

Through engaging stories and real-life triumphs, we highlight the tangible impact of AIM's efforts, seen through the transformative journeys of individual students and the invaluable support networks they discover. Additionally, we shed light on the personal motivations driving AIM's members, emphasizing the significance of shared learning experiences and the collective desire for increased accessibility.

By delving into the principles of mutual learning and community solidarity, we underscore the empowering paths taken by students navigating their disability journeys and stress the importance of challenging biases entrenched within the medical field. Our discussion extends beyond individual experiences to explore the broader societal implications and ethical imperatives surrounding disability inclusion.

As we delve into the core of AIM's mission, we urge the wider medical community to actively advocate for accessibility and inclusivity, catalyzing meaningful change by amplifying success stories and critically examining prevailing attitudes and beliefs. Furthermore, we extend an open invitation for professionals outside the AIM Working Group to join this vital conversation and contribute to the collective effort of creating a more inclusive future in medicine.

Bio's

Erin Browkoski

Erin has been working in the world of higher education disability services since 2013. She holds a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling and is a Nationally Certified Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor in Illinois. Erin is a proud graduate of the Docs With Disabilities Initiative (DWDI) Disability Resource Professional Academy. Erin currently serves as Assistant Director of Medical School and Clinical Accessibility at UI College of Medicine for students on all three campuses: Chicago, Rockford and Peoria.

Suzanne Hawks

Suzanne joined the Center for Learning Access and Student Success at Wake Forest University in early 2018. She received her BS in Psychology from Presbyterian College and spent several years working with children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder before joining the field of higher education in 2012. While Suzanne serves students across all programs at Wake Forest, she is the primary contact for students within the School of Medicine. In her spare time, Suzanne enjoys spending time with her family (which includes the cutest little boy in the entire world), really fun friends, and their rescue pit/heeler mix Tommy Boy. 

Karyn LaTurner Echols

Karyn is a Student Disability and Student Services professional currently serving as the Disability Officer at Rocky Vista University College of Medicine in Ivins, Utah. Her extensive experience includes roles as a Disability Access Consultant at Arizona State University and Associate Director for Student Disability Services at the University of Chicago. She holds a Master of Education degree from Arizona State University. Karyn is multilingual, speaking English, German, Italian and is conversant in Japanese. 

Christine Low

Christine serves as the Director of Disability Services at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Beyond her role as Director, Christine holds a faculty position in Environmental Medicine and Public Health and serves as Adjunct Faculty at Columbia University, School of Social Work.

Christine devotes significant time to disability inclusion efforts for medical education. She is an active member of the Access in Medicine (AIM) program within the DocsWithDisabilities Initiative and from 2016 to 2023 served on the Board of Directors for the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education.With a national presence, Christine has delivered presentations on various disability-related topics. Her contributions extend to scholarly work in leading journals and book chapters. Christine lives in northern NJ with her husband and her Bernese Mountain Dog, Diesel.

Sarah Triano

Sarah is the Director of the Center for Learning Excellence at Geisinger College of Health Sciences where she oversees the disability services for the school’s nursing, Doctor of Medicine, and master’s in biomedical sciences programs. Sarah is the former chair of Access in Medicine (AIM), a program of the Doctors With Disabilities Initiative (DWDI), a working group focused on creating resources and guidance to improve equitable opportunities for students with disabilities and is passionate about creating a welcoming, inclusive, and accessible space for students with disabilities in medicine and health science programs. She now serves as the director of special programs for DWDI.

 

Transcript: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19szUBxV-8nZOfmkSIxg3R1mkOq5j5iGLUxClqEeClbk/edit?usp=sharing

Keywords: DRP, Disability Inclusion, Medical Education, Leadership, Students, AIM, Access, Processes, Specialized Support.

Produced by: Lisa Meeks and R.E. Natowicz

Audio editor: Nicole Kim and R.E. Natowicz

Digital Media: Katie Sullivan and Lisa Meeks