…even in the field of orthotics and prosthetics

Healers – no matter which way you look at it

There have been numerous famous physicians throughout history and still many more today who are dyslexic, even in the field of orthotics and prosthetics but, one would never know.   This is because they don’t identify themselves as such in the workplace nor did they formally do so in the past.

Medicine is a popular choice of occupation for adult dyslexics who are often gifted

A typical profile of a dyslexic physician involves early troubles in elementary school.  Yet, a number of reasons exist as to why medicine is a popular choice of occupation for adult dyslexics who are often gifted.

Firstly, medicine is a complex domain to master that nevertheless also requires an ability to grasp the big picture, make decisions and execute a plan.

Medicine is often of interest to many dyslexic students

Medicine is based in scientific disciplines which is often of interest to many dyslexic students.  In addition, many dyslexic mind strengths are in sync with the field of medicine, such as spatial reasoning, required by surgeons, cardiologists and radiologists; interdisciplinary thinking – needed for occupations involving dermatology, immunology, epidemiology and ICU; narrative reasoning (think clinical histories, psychology and psychiatry); and dynamic reasoning associated with preventative health, rehabilitation and sports medicine.

While significant challenges exist, dyslexic individuals who pursue a career in medicine are greatly aided by technology.

Case study – Blake Charlton: a dyslexic doctor among many

This case study involves the story of Blake Charlton.  Failing kindergarten was the first of many of his school struggles and difficulties.  He was relegated to remedial classes as a result of being diagnosed with dyslexia.  In spite of this, he barely passed.  Even at the age of 35, reading still posed a challenge and is a self-described ‘crummy’ speller, who manages written communication by relying on the use of abbreviations.  Yet, those who recall his academic difficulties are often surprised at the abbreviation that now follows his name:  M.D.

“For much of high school and college, I didn’t think medical school was a possibility,” says Charlton, who’s now a medical resident at the University of California, San Francisco and an editorial fellow for the American Medical Association journal JAMA Internal Medicine. “I spent a lifetime having to ride the short bus, identifying as someone who needs help.”

Charlton earned entry into Stanford School of Medicine after receiving time accommodations to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).  He maintains that his first-hand awareness of personal deficiencies has help him to evolve into a compassionate physician.

Roger Wolfson – a South African dyslexic orthotics and prosthetics specialist among many

Himself diagnosed with dyslexia, Roger Wolfson has relentlessly pursued a brilliant career in orthotics and prosthetics and is a specialist among many who has made great strides in his chosen field.  Roger states that dyslexics are often known to be lateral thinkers.  A lateral thinker in his own right,  Roger has significantly contributed to his field of orthotics and prosthetics with patented orthotic innovations such as ‘Backmate’ also known as ‘a friend to lean on’ which is a back/spinal brace designed and developed to aid back pain sufferers who find difficulty sitting in certain positions and the ‘JR OA Off-loader knee brace’ which has been designed to remove knee pain without the need for surgical intervention.

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