Have Dyslexia And Want To Be A Doctor? Tips On Getting Through Medical School

22 June 2015
 Categories: , Blog


If have you have decided to become a doctor and have dyslexia, you may have more challenges than other students may, but this does not mean you cannot become a doctor. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, 94.2 percent of students graduate medical school in seven years, and you can be a part of this percentage. Below are some tips to help you succeed so you can get into a good medical university residency program.

Extra Time for the MCAT

The American with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) can allow you extra time to take your MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) if you have been diagnosed with a qualifying learning disability, such as dyslexia. You must have documentation from a doctor that shows your learning disorder will significantly interfere with your ability to take the MCAT under regular testing conditions.

Some examples of the accommodations you may receive include extra testing time, and presenting dyslexia friendly printing materials. For example, there may be extra space between the letters, and a larger font size, such as 14pt, or the paper may be colored instead of white, such as off-white or cream. To make things less stressful for you, you may be given a separate testing room.

Coping Strategies

Record lectures so you can listen to them after class is over. Purchase screen reading and word prediction software for your computer. You should also set your word processing program to auto correct.

You can also purchase eyewear that have a color-filtering lens that was originally developed for people with color blindness, but have been found to work well for people with dyslexia. This is because many dyslexics have a problem reading with high contrast levels. Pastel backgrounds with a dark text generally work better

Time Management

Many people with dyslexia have poor time management skills, and may find it hard to keep track of assignments. This is especially difficult with someone in medical school, as you will have a very full schedule of classes.

When you start studying, set your cell phone alarm for when you need to stop. Purchase an organizer to use as a continuous diary to help you keep up with your assignments, class schedules, and deadlines. Keep a to do list in the organizer for each day, and update the list daily. Use a highlighter pen to highlight the most important dates and time. Cross of each item as you get them done. Keep this organizer with you at all times, as you will find it very helpful.

Break up study time into blocks so you will not have to sit and cram everything in all at once, such as study for 20 minutes and take a 10-minute break in between. Use file dividers to keep your lecture notes separate.

Many people with dyslexia have empathy for other people because of the struggles they have had to go through. For this reason, they can make better doctors, as they will be able to relate to their patients on a more emotional level.