Training physicians about caring for persons with disabilities: "Nothing about us without us!".
According to the World Report on Disability, physicians worldwide generally lack training about caring for persons with disabilities, thus frequently compromising their health care experiences and health outcomes. Many U.S. physicians are similarly untrained about critical aspects of providing care to persons with disabilities, perhaps contributing to disparities in their care. Recognizing these inadequacies, U.S. medical educators are beginning to develop core competencies for trainees relating to the care of patients with disabilities, including understanding patients' perceptions of their quality of life and skills in providing patient-centered care. Having today's physicians, even when genuinely well-intentioned, retain control over designing disability-related training programs for future doctors may miss critical issues in caring empathically and effectively for persons with disabilities. Involving persons with disabilities in identifying training needs and implementing curricula for future physicians may offer important opportunities for ensuring their competency to provide patient-centered care to persons with disabilities.