In the News

Dr. Justin Bullock, nephrology fellow, is quoted in a recent article in TIME about the treatment of disabled health professionals.

TIME article

As the third year of the pandemic continues, doctors with disabilities are pushing the medical field to improve its treatment of disabled health professionals. An increasing number of people have Long Covid and need accommodations at work, and in the health care workforce, their ability to stay in their profession will be critical to helping patients also suffering from the little-understood condition.

The DocsWithDisabilities initiative, which started as a social media campaign in 2018 and then a podcast highlighting stories of disabled health care workers, will now include research groups, mentorship opportunities, policy recommendations and training for medical professionals on how to better include people with disabilities.

Bullock_JustinDr. Justin Bullock, a nephrology fellow at the University of Washington and a member of the initiative’s advisory board, says he would like to see hospitals and medical schools standardize how they handle accommodations for physicians with disabilities. Bullock has bipolar disorder and says he faced barriers in returning to his residency after he was hospitalized following a suicide attempt, but has felt supported at his current institution.

“Doctors have mental illness and other illnesses because doctors are human,” he says. “The more stigmatizing and more traumatizing the systems are, the more harm we inflict on providers. And when providers are unwell, patients are unwell.”