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New Study 

Critical of 

Doctors' Attitudes

Curriculum in IDD Healthcare at AACOM's 

Annual Conference 

Survey: What Do Physicians Think About IDD?


Disturbing Personal Stories From Nurses About Doctors' Treatment of People with IDD

The most impactful thing you will read about the need to educate clinicians

A new, must-read survey reveals details about nurses’ difficult experiences with physicians in working to get appropriate health care for people with IDD they support. The study published in EC Nursing and Healthcare in February of 2021 can be an emotionally difficult read. 

“Learning about current attitudes and perceptions about people with IDD that many physicians have is heartbreaking.,” Says Dr. Craig Escudé, a physician and president of IntellectAbility. “It’s commonly known by family members, nurses, direct support professionals and people with disabilities that finding a clinician who understands the unique needs of people with disabilities is challenging. The harrowing experiences of the nurses related in this survey explains why.”  

Some of the quotes in the study provided by these nurses include: 

“During a consultation with an ER physician, the doctor stated that people like my patient aren’t meant to live that long and have no quality of life.”
“Physician uncomfortable with treating individuals with IDD. Appeared either scared or annoyed.”
“They don’t listen to the nurse or direct support provider that knows the client.”
“I’ve had a number of physicians, instead of treating our individuals, recommend hospice because of a ‘poor quality of life.’”

“I had a doctor totally ignore what I was saying and started the individual on psych meds.”

These comments further emphasize the need to improve how medical schools educate their students about the fundamentals of providing healthcare for people with disabilities.

“When we educate clinicians, we save lives,” says Dr. Escudé. “The efforts being made to improve IDD healthcare education, while overdue, will undoubtably have a tremendously positive impact on the lives of millions of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the US.”

Click here to read the full, published article on our website.


IntellectAbility's Solution to Educate Physicians about IDD Healthcare

Here's what you can do to help

  • Tell your physicians about these resources by handing them this
  • Agencies can provide this training for clinicians in their area. Contact us at

Attention: For providers or clinicians in the state of Georgia who are interested in utilizing the Curriculum in IDD Healthcare to train healthcare providers in the state, please contact: at the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. If you are a state official or agency administrator from a state other than GA and would like to provide the course to clinicians in your state, contact IntellectAbility at


IntellectAbility's Curriculum in IDD Healthcare eLearn at AACOM'S Educating Leaders Conference 2021

On April 20-22, 2021, Dr. Melissa Stephens and Dr. Carol Morraele from William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine will deliver a virtual poster presentation about their Curriculum in IDD Healthcare pilot project at the 2021 American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) Educating Leaders conference. We're honored to be a part of the largest osteopathic medical education event in the nation attended by university and college presidents, medical school deans, medical educators and administration, program directors, and department chairs and more.

Their study proved the efficacy of IntellectAbility’s Curriculum in IDD Healthcare eLearning course in teaching medical students about the fundamentals of IDD Healthcare. 

The bar graph below was taken from their full AACOM presentation poster. 

The researchers concluded the online course was successful in increasing the student’s: 

  • Knowledge of IDD healthcare
  • Confidence in treating people with IDD
  • Maximum ability to deliver effective medical care to people with IDD.

Click to see more Results and Testimonials from the Curriculum in IDD Healthcare eLearn course. 


Participate in a survey: What Do Physicians Think About IDD?

Research participants needed! 

Tell us your impression about physicians' beliefs on adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 
We're looking to hear from American:

  • Disability professionals
  • Healthcare providers working in the field of intellectual disability
  • Family members of children or adults with intellectual disability.

Click here to complete our survey. 

Thank you for your input!

If you have any questions, please contact a member of the research team:



Listen to or watch MEDICAL MONDAYS with Dr. Escude on YouTube, or click here to find your favorite podcast platform. Each Monday, Dr. Escude will discuss a medical topic relating to people with IDD on the Friends for Life podcast.

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