University of Sussex

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[Correspondence] Welcome signs of the road ahead for autistic doctors and patients

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-10, 04:31 authored by Sue McCowan, Sebastian ShawSebastian Shaw, Mary Doherty, Bernadette Grosjean, Paula Blank, Malcolm Kinnear
We wholeheartedly thank and congratulate the authors and the Royal College of Psychiatrists on this response to our editorial piece. Not only for autistic psychiatrists, but for all of our colleagues who are neurodivergent and those with other disabilities. We welcome the publication of the three vitally important priority areas for the disability section of the College Equality Action Plan. These priorities clearly and firmly signal a move to improve inclusion and support reasonable accommodations and are in line with the positions of the General Medical Council and Medical Schools Council. An accessible and inclusive College fosters retention of the existing workforce and supports ongoing recruitment – a priority of the inspiring Choose Psychiatry campaign. We have received messages of support and thanks from autistic and other neurodivergent doctors, who now feel that there is hope of being valued and supported with reasonable accommodations where needed and may now consider disclosing autism or other neurodivergence. The College is in a strong position to lead in this area and neurodivergent colleagues from other specialties hope that their Royal Colleges will also act. There have also been messages of congratulation and hope from those outside the medical profession who have seen our editorial with its clear message of common autistic strengths on offer alongside the request for reasonable support. They understand, like us, that the College response is a very significant and welcome change that ripples outwards in our approaches to autistic patients and into society. We are grateful to the College for actively listening and meeting with us and our neurodivergent colleagues, and we look forward to collaborating further to effect change as soon as possible. We continue to bring much to the profession and are proud to work alongside all of our colleagues in a full CIRCLE.


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British Journal of Psychiatry




Royal College of Psychiatrists





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