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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Deaf Medical Student Denied an Interpreter by Medical School

A Deaf student, Michael Argenyi, was denied an interpreter by medical school for clinical trainings. Although, he has lip-reading skills & does not know sign language, he could not understand what his patients were saying. His university officials did not allow him to rely on an interpreter because patients wouldn't be comfortable to tell a doctor about their health issues while a third party is presented. They stated that Michael Argenyi was capable of communicating well without an interpreter.

The university did not provide him with enough accommodations for his clinical classes. He had to spend over $100,000 on his interpreter in two years as a medical student. For this reason, he sued the university for violating ADA, which requires universities & colleges to accommodate students with disabilities.

To read more about his case, please go to this link:

My question is, is it possible for a Deaf doctor to be with an interpreter at all times to communicate with hearing patients?

It is possible, but there are some reasons why it is really hard to become a doctor. First of all, it costs hospitals a lot of money to hire an interpreter for daily doctor-patient interaction. Secondly, most patients hate the idea of having someone else as a third party. As they say, third is a crowd. Thirdly, it is harder for a Deaf person who wants to be a doctor to get accepted by a medical school.
According to my research, there are quite a few doctors that are deaf in USA, and they said that being deaf & a doctor were a lot more difficult than they realized. But they made it, didn't they?
Every time I requested an interpreter from the hospital, they treated me like an a**hole. So, I definitely need more Deaf doctors, so I'd feel more comfortable to communicate with the doctor in ASL privately.

I think it would be awesome if you could be a doctor who runs their own office for deaf patients near Deaf school or Gallaudet university as long as you know ASL. I read somewhere that average of Deaf people don't always go to the doctor because they can't afford health care. Medicaid is being cut down due to economic crisis.

It would be a great medical field for Deaf people who are very intelligent & truly passionate about helping people get better. Also, they should be able to handle enormous amount of stresses & challenges as a Deaf doctor. If they can deal with those things, then why not?
What are your thoughts on this topic?


  1. Hi. In case you did not know, the deaf medical student in the NYT article won the case against the university 2 weeks ago so here is the link:

    1. No, actually, I didn't catch up with the deaf news. I was supposed to post this blog last month. But great to know that he won the case.

    2. No, actually, I didn't catch up with the deaf news. I was supposed to post this blog last month. But great to know that he won the case.

  2. He recently won this case not very long ago. Yes,he attended NYT same person after he against Creighton