Despite severe need and higher health risks, people with intellectual disabilities lack equitable access to health services and die, on average, 16 years earlier than the general population. “How can you expect a population to do well if doctors don’t want to treat them? If they are marginalized, even sedated? I never once had a lecture on intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) in medical school. I never had a professor show me how to do a physical exam on a person with ID/DD. I never received training on medications for someone with ID/DD. Most see the challenges, not the gifts of this population. I chose to focus on this population because I got angry,” Dr. Alicia Bazzano, Chief Health Officer, Special Olympics writes in the latest issue of STRIVE magazine.
Dr. Steven Perlman