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Prescribing medicines is the most common patient-level intervention made by doctors in the United Kingdom. However, this is associated with a potential for harm. Whilst dyslexia can bring many strengths, it also impacts reading and writing abilities and therefore has the potential to contribute to errors in the prescribing process if dyslexic doctors are unsupported. This paper explores the experiences of Seb – regarding prescribing and prescribing education – as a dyslexic medical student and doctor. We hope that this might spark more research on this overlooked issue. This is a collaborative, analytic, autoethnographic study within an interpretivist paradigm. Firstly, Seb wrote an autobiographical account; he was then interviewed by Mike. The interview audio-recording was transcribed verbatim and both data sources were thematically analysed. Emerging themes included: learning to prescribe, coping, struggling and support, errors, near misses and handwritten charts, and moving forward. Specific issues included a deficiency in active learning/assessment at an undergraduate level, a lack of support, and potential safety concerns regarding handwritten charts. Electronic prescribing was felt to be a positive step forwards for both safety and accessibility. Our findings suggest that further consideration of specific supports is needed to assist dyslexic trainee doctors in the prescribing of medicines, so as to prevent the clinical environment acting to disadvantage them. They also suggest that we may need to review the ways in which we teach and assess this vital skill at an undergraduate level.
dyslexia, doctor, medical student, prescribing, medical education, collaborative autoethnography
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Recommended APA Citation
Shaw, S. C., Okorie, M., & Anderson, J. L. (2022). Safe and Effective Prescribing with Dyslexia: A Collaborative Autoethnography. The Qualitative Report, 27(6), 1710-1729. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2022.4776
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