‘In Dialogue’ Episode 20: Rehumanizing Medicine by Addressing Ableism in Health Care

In episode 20 of “In Dialogue,” CPSO EDI Lead and Medical Advisor Dr. Saroo Sharda interviews Drs. Lynn Ashdown and Caroline Bowman, disability advocates who have lived experience with disability. Drs. Ashdown and Bowman speak candidly about their experiences navigating the healthcare system as providers and as patients living with disabilities. Their personal stories and examples bring a valuable patient-centred perspective on these issues for physicians and non-physicians alike.

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Dr. Ashdown is a patient experience expert who works on curriculum reform and legislative changes that combat ableism and address inequities for people living with disabilities. She was close to finishing her residency in family medicine when she began, and continues to navigate, a complex journey as a full-time patient.

Dr. Bowman is a family physician who has practiced in Wasaga Beach for the past 17 years. She is an assistant clinical professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University, where she teaches topics related to mental health and behavioural science. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis five years ago and is beginning to explore the topic of disability and dig into her own internalized ableism.

Drs. Ashdown and Bowman recently spoke to us for the Dialogue article, Ableism is a Health Hazard, about their internalized biases as they come to understand what it means to live with a disability.

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