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Doctors With Disabilities: Why They’re Important

More than 20 percent of Americans — nearly 57 million people — live with a disability, including 8 percent of children and 10 percent of nonelderly adults. And while the medical profession is devoted to caring for the ill, often it doesn’t do enough to meet the needs of the disabled. People with disabilities are less likely to receive routine medical care, including cancer screening, flu vaccines and vision and dental exams. They have higher rates of unaddressed cardiovascular risk factors like obesity, smoking and hypertension. Compared with nondisabled adults on Medicare, disabled people on Medicare are more than twice as likely to forgo care because of the cost, and three times as likely to have difficulty finding a doctor who can accommodate their needs.

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