Dr Cynthia Delgado on the Need for Clinicians to Understand Patients With Disabilities

February 12, 2020

Clinicians should be mindful of how their patients with disabilities function in their everyday lives, not just in the exam room, according to Cynthia Delgado, MD, associate professor of medicine at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of California San Francisco Medical Center.

Clinicians should be mindful of how their patients with disabilities function in their everyday lives, not just in the exam room, according to Cynthia Delgado, MD, associate professor of medicine at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of California San Francisco Medical Center.

Transcript

Why is it important for clinicians to understand the perspectives of their patients with disabilities?

Well, first of all, we should all be mindful about the American Disabilities Act’s responsibilities we are all legally responsible to enact under those regulations. But more importantly, I think oftentimes we think about patient care in the context of the patient exam room and are excited about patients meeting our expectations in terms of medication adherence or blood pressure management or lab results. But really, we should be thinking about the patient inside the context of the patient’s life themselves. So, when they leave the clinic, or their doctor’s office, what is life like for them, following through with all the things we asked them to do, but also engaging in other aspects of their personal life.