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Day 9 Topic: Supporting mental health of trainees living with a health condition, disability or illness

Applying for accommodations for the MCAT or USMLE Board exams often requires disabled students to collect letters from mentors to explain that the students face challenges they cannot overcome. These letters, preferably from teachers or supervisors, are considered supporting documentation for accommodation requests. Most students have spent their whole lives, or many years, convincing committees that they are “abled” enough to be a physician. How can able-bodied/non-disabled faculty and fellow students support disabled colleagues while they undergo this sometimes humiliating, stressful, and lengthy process? What can institutions do to intervene early to set their disabled students up for success?