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Title: Dyslexia and medicine : the experience and the impact of dyslexia on the education, training, and practice of doctors
Author: Shrewsbury, Duncan Hooper
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 0804
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2018
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Introduction: Dyslexia is the most common specific learning difficulty, affecting of about 6% of the population. In medicine, the numbers of learners disclosing a diagnosis of dyslexia is rising. Small-scale studies have begun to venture into the effects of dyslexia on the education of medical students, and doctors in foundation year training and beyond. There is a call for research to develop a more nuanced understanding of how dyslexia affects doctors during their training and practice. Methodology: Using interpretative phenomenological analysis, this project aimed to develop a greater understanding of the ways in which dyslexia affects the training and practice of doctors. The data collection followed a three-phase approach, employing semi-structured interviews, a Self-Characterisation Sketch exercise, and Critical Incident Reflection audio-diaries. Analysis: In-depth, idiographic analysis of anonymised case studies for 10 doctors in training across a variety of specialties, from England and Wales was undertaken. The detail of the analysis cannot be adequately captured in a short summary but the overarching themes identified in the data included: Self; Belonging; and Coping. Each theme is supported by subthemes: good enough, chaos and power of the label; black sheep, conformity, and community; and difficulties and capabilities, agency and attribution, and strategies and risk, respectively. Notable ‘pearls’ within the data included the notion of partitioning, and that of brute failure. Discussion: The in-depth analysis of these doctors’ experience of their dyslexia, with reference to their education, training and practice, provides a unique insight into an unstudied aspect of lived experience of doctors. The analysis of the data from these doctors offers a unique understanding of self-concept, attribution and learned helplessness. These findings bear significance for engaging with, and seeking help from the team and wider structures in medical education. Synthesis of this analysis with wider literature would suggest a role for self-compassion and individual counselling approaches in medical education.
Supervisor: Norwich, Brahm ; Mattick, Karen Sponsor: College of Social Sciences and International Studies
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: dyslexia ; medical education ; doctors ; physicians ; specific learning difficulties