Disability Royal Commission

Hearing 10, Education & training of health Professionals

Hearing 10 “Education and training of health professionals in relation to people with cognitive disability” took place in Sydney from Tuesday 15th to Wednesday 16th December 2020 and was the last hearing to occur for this year.  It was closed to the public, but available for streaming on the DRC website.

Hearing 10 sought to explore the ways in which curricula at undergraduate and postgraduate medical study addresses the needs of people with cognitive disability, and how these considerations inform accreditation and oversight of education and training programs. Practice standards and the measures of professional competencies were also discussed.

Key themes to emerge from the hearing were:

  • The prevalence of diagnostic overshadowing and misdiagnosis where medical care for people with cognitive disability are concerned
  • Attitudes and assumptions about people with cognitive disability as they pertain to notions of quality of life, and how these in turn affect service delivery. Low expectations are a common issue.
  • The importance of actively involving people with disability and their families/carers in decision making around training and education for healthcare professionals.