• The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

Quadriplegic Doctor

Treating patients in wheelchair

For the past year, many different spinal cord injury (SCI) stories of patients have been shared in the Community. Today I’d like to share with you the story of a SCI doctor. However, he’s not a doctor who treats SCI but a doctor with SCI.

Since 2017, Dr. Dinesh Palipana has worked as a doctor at the Gold Coast University Hospital in Queensland, Australia. The journey of becoming a doctor is never easy for anyone. For Dr. Palipana, this journey was even more challenging because he is quadriplegic.

In 2010, a car accident turned Dr. Palipana into quadriplegic. At that time, he was in the third year of his medical degree – halfway through finishing his studies. With such a severe SCI condition, he was told he could never complete his journey of becoming a doctor. If Dr. Palipana had trusted whoever made that comment, he would have never become the first quadriplegic medical graduate in the state of Queensland, the second in Australia.

Now Dr. Palipana is, according to him, living his dream. Despite being quadriplegic, he has found ways to perform his medical techniques. As you can see from his interview with Australia’s 9News, he can carry out most medical tasks professionally like many other doctors.

Learning to insert an intravenous cannula – one of the biggest triumphs during Dr. Palipana’s medical training. (Photo: Griffith University)

But do the patients trust him? Working in one of the busiest hospitals in Queensland, Dr. Palipana said, “none of my patients have reacted badly to me.” Indeed, patients may not be the toughest to deal with for doctors with impairment, but rather the education authority.

Shortly after Dr. Palipana returned to medical school, he found that the Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand (MDANZ) had created a policy document that would potentially stop people with a wide range of physical and psychological challenges to practice medicine.

Dr. Palipana commented, “education is meant to be an expansive activity that extends the boundaries of human endeavor.” He questioned why educators would try to stop people with impairments to practice medicine when there are sufficient regulations to enable these people to work safely, with reasonable limitations on practice.

In fact, Dr. Palipana raised this question to his fellow senior staff during his clerkship in radiology at Harvard University. There he got a compelling and supportive opinion:

If you can make the merit, then there is no place to discriminate physically.

To strike for equal opportunities to medical training, Dr. Palipana has joined force with a few other doctors with different physical challenges to form an organization called Doctors with Disabilities – Australia (DWDA). The organization aims to provide advocacy and peer support on issues associated with medical study and doctors with a disability.

Learn more about Dr. Palipana’s story on “I might be quadriplegic, but I’m your doctor” and “No Barriers ahead for Dinesh”.

Would you mind having a doctor with SCI or other disabilities? What doctor’s qualities matter to you the most?

Comments (0)

There are no comments on this topic yet.
Be the first to comment!
Forum
Most Recent Answers
3995 odyssita
Explaining what life with a chronic disability is like
Hi cAro, all the best for your research! I am very curious to hear about the results once they are being published. Thank you for researching this...
6 odyssita 2018-05-02
3560 Wheelie
Scewo
Good news for all who would like to try out the Scewo by themselves: according the Scewo constructors, the feedback on their invention was so...
5 Johannes 2018-03-12
Ask the Expert
Most Recent Answers
3 Dr._Hans_old 2015-07-20
3 Dr._Hans_old 2015-05-07

Blog
Most Recent Blog Posts
“If you have a heartbeat, there is still time for your dreams!”
Sean Stephenson on how to create powerful connections with people, because together all is possible.
0
lisa.adey 2019-09-06 In Society
Entrepreneurship and Disability
How they link to each other – and some success stories
0
Cheerleading for Everyone
Discovering ParaCheer, a new division in cheerleading
0
Wiki
Most Read
Anatomy and physiology of respiration
Breathing is the most normal thing in the world for us. We hardly think about it, even though we breathe in and out about 20,000 times per day. We breathe more when we are active and exerting ourselves, and we breathe less when we are...
Contractures
What are contractures and how do they develop? Contractures are shortenings of muscles, tendons or ligaments that have a limiting effect on the movements of the joints. The normal ability to move a joint is lost. Contractures are frequently...
Suctioning
In some cases, support is needed for cleaning the nasopharyngeal space and keeping it free from secretion. For this purpose, suctioning is performed through the nose and, if necessary, the mouth. This is particularly necessary if the nose cannot be...

About the Community
Most Recent Topics
2019-09-19 In Latest
Interabled Couple in Poland
Remember Shane & Hannah: the interabled couple we reported earlier this year? They got engaged just months after in June! In August, the couple took off to their second overseas trip together...
0
2019-07-03 In Latest
UK’s “New” Disability Measures?
With 14 million people living with a disability in the country, the UK Prime Minister announced new measures last week to address the inequalities these people face. These measures include higher...
0
2019-03-27 In Latest
Our new Community
Glad to have you back! We have done a lot to make sure that you find your way around quickly and feel at home – including this new section, where we regularly post latest tips, information, links,...
0

Contact

Swiss Paraplegic Research
Guido A. Zäch Strasse 4
6207 Nottwil
Switzerland

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
T 0800 727 236 (from Switzerland, free of charge)
T +41 41 939 65 55 (from other countries, charges apply)

Be part of the Community – sign up now!