Clinicians with Dyslexia: A Systematic Review of Effects and Strategies

Ms Gail Alexander, Dr Rachel Locke, Dr Richard Mann, Dr Samantha Scallan

Background

For educators, an awareness of the impact of dyslexia on learners in the clinical workplace is vital: first, to be able to identify whether dyslexia may underlie certain traits and behaviours; and second, to be able to provide appropriate advice and support when dyslexia is identified.   We reviewed the primary research evidence concerning the effects of dyslexia on clinicians (in or post training) in the workplace, and adaptive strategies (‘workarounds’) in use. 

Methods

A systematic search of literature was undertaken, followed by a narrative review of studies selected as meeting the inclusion criteria. The review used a priori research questions and focused on studies based on primary research evidence. 

Results

The review identified five key studies on dyslexia and qualified doctors or nurses.  The impact of dyslexia on doctors can include: writing and calculating prescriptions, writing patient notes, prioritising and making referrals.  Strategies to minimise the effects of dyslexia include the use of adaptive technologies, the need for more time for mentors and supervisors, and awareness of ‘enabling’ and ‘disabling’ environments.

Discussion

The difficulties associated with dyslexia are varied and may be unexpected. Medical educators must therefore be aware of dyslexia and its impact. When supporting a trainee with dyslexia, there is guidance available but educators may struggle to identify strategies and resources that are evidence based, so further research is required. 

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Publications

Publication Year DOI Link
The Clinical Teacher - Clinicians with Dyslexia doi.org/10.1111/tct.12331 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tct.12331 Download file

Conferences

Title Type
RCGP Conference 2016 Poster presentation