Hien and Medical School Rotations: A Case Study on Accommodating for a Pacemaker
My name is Hien and I am a fourth-year medical student preparing for rotations. I have a heart condition that requires a pacemaker and I cannot be within 20 feet of microwaves, but my rotation sites may put me in proximity to medical microwaves.
Completing the rotation may expose me to unsafe levels of microwaves. I want to be safe, but I also want to be able to keep my disability confidential while maintaining the widest possible selection of rotation sites.
I called each rotation site to ask if microwaves were included at the site. If a potential danger was identified, I worked with appropriate staff to make arrangements to accomplish the rotation while assuring my safety. Every person I worked with was enthusiastic and creative in helping me identify reasonable accommodations. I worked with the career services and disabled student services offices to develop a procedure for alerting coworkers about what to do if I experience symptoms.
This case study illustrates the following:
- With collaboration, compromise, and planning ahead, every student's needs can be met.
- Sometimes the student can be very involved in identifying and solving access problems.